Friday, October 29, 2010

Push and pull

My dad sent me a text message this morning. "Good morning," it read. I closed it quickly, dropping my phone on my desk and willing myself not to respond.

The only time I've heard from him after this week's blowup was two texts on Wednesday morning. The aforementioned “I’m Sorry I never meant to hurt You I Love you," followed by "I'll always be in your life," which was prompted by my response (which, essentially, told him to stay away from me and out of my life).

He hasn't even tried to call me. And that hurts. Because he's talked to Meg and he's talked to my mom and - do I really fall that low on your list? That you won't even try to call me?

I don't know how to approach this. Cutting him off completely - ignoring this morning's text message and every one the follows - is initially what I thought was the best. Tough love. See what it's like without a family, buddy. Try it out and get back to me. Is it worth it? Is she worth it?

I'm second guessing myself. I'm afraid that it will push him even further away. So far away that he can't see our family in his rear view mirror. That he can't imagine fixing it. That he reaches that point of no return. When he's not my dad anymore. When his self destructive behavior continues to escalate. If he keeps on living like this, he'll be dead within 5 years. I am absolutely certain of this. And that scares the hell out of me.

I don't know what to do. If I yell at him, does he hear me? If I ignore him, does he get it?

I want nothing to do with him.
All I want to do is fix him.

I don’t know where the middle ground is. And I have no idea how to find it.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Things that I want to do but am not:

  • Email Her on her work account, just so she knows that I know where she works.
  • Change my dad’s Facebook status to “cheated on my wife of 35 years with (insert Her name here).”
  • Fax the 200 pages of Her cell phone statement to Her at Her office.
  • Facebook Her daughter, who had her first child last weekend, to clue her in to the situation.
  • Drop by my dad’s office, preferably when he is not there, to remove all photos of me/Mom/Meg from his desk.
  • Friend Her daughter/husband on Facebook, just so my name shows up on Her newsfeed.
  • Break my dad’s nose.
  • Show up at Her job.
  • Call Her house.
  • Call Her cell phone.
  • Call Her at work.
  • Key my dad’s Mustang – AKA his midlife-crisis-mobile.
  • Mail Her a congratulations card. Inside, congratulate her for ruining two marriages.
  • Mail Her brochures on STDs. And counseling. And for a church or two.
  • Send a mass email to all family/family friends, alerting them of what a shady douchebag my father is.
  • Show up at Her house. Preferably on Halloween.
  • Post Her phone number somewhere on the internet. Like Craigslist.

So, I guess what I’m saying is that I’d like to do something illegal. Self restraint, don’t fail me now!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I thought it couldn't get any worse

And I was wrong.

My dad was still seeing her.

At work on Monday, my mom received an anonymous package. On top, a page with one sentence. "Your husband is having an affair with my wife." Following that? 200 pages of her cell phone statement. Going back to June. On Meg's birthday. On Mom's birthday. On my birthday.

All day. Every day. Constant texting. Constant calling.

It never stopped. He never stopped.

And that's why he "decided" to leave. Because it never stopped.

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain

My mom has been so classy. Through this entire ordeal, she has been exceptional. She admits to moments when she’s cruel – asking questions about the other woman, pointing out what a stupid move he made – but Dad has been lucky. She could have just kicked him out of the house. She could have made his life a living hell. Instead, she’s held her head up and insisted that she believes that people make mistakes and she believes in her 35 years of marriage.

She certainly wasn’t expecting that, yesterday, my dad would get up in the morning and say that he’s moving out.

But apparently that is what happened. I don’t know if he said “I’m moving out forever” or “I’m moving out for a little while” or “I’m moving out and let’s see what happens,” all I know is that he didn’t come home last night and I’m not exactly sure that he’s welcome to come home any time in the near future.

He really fucked himself this time. As though cheating on my mom wasn’t enough. He had forgiveness handed to him on a silver platter and he still blew it. What a fucking tool.

And he didn’t even have the balls to call me yesterday. I got a lame “I’m Sorry I never meant to hurt You I Love you” (sweet use of capitalization, yo) text message this morning. Thanks, man. That means a lot. For my father to leave my mother and then send me a FUCKING TEXT MESSAGE. You’re cool.

He should have left in September, when this all came out. If he didn’t want to try – and I don’t think that six weeks of therapy is trying – then he shouldn’t have strung us along. The one punch to the gut was plenty, thanks. The part where he gave us just enough time to heal before punching us again was rather unnecessary.

Life can change direction so quickly. I was going to go home last night and eat pasta and read and go to bed before 10:00. Instead, I sat at the kitchen counter with my mom, Meg and Aunt Annette (Dad’s older sister) and I had to call Lucy last night to see if Chet could come over to change the locks (he’s a locksmith) and I stayed at the house last night because I couldn’t stand to leave my mom alone.

I cannot believe that this is my father. I cannot believe that this is who he has turned out to be. I am Dorothy. He is the wizard. And it’s a fucking shame that what I found behind the curtain is such a pathetic joke of a man.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fuck. This.

My mom called me just as I was leaving work.

My dad is moving out.

I can't breathe.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The weekend. In pieces.

On Friday evening, I received a horrifying phone call from a coworker. A former coworker of ours – she worked with us for about 10 months up until a year or so ago – died.

We were never more than acquaintances. But, in the last six months or so, her Facebook made it increasingly clear that she was in a really, really great place in her life.

I’m so sad for her family.

* * *

I’m annoyed with Colleen.

As part of Lucy’s birthday present, we bought three Groupons to get massages together. Well, I bought ‘em.

And I scheduled the massages – for a weekend in September – and then I rescheduled the appointment when Colleen couldn’t make the originally scheduled date. We had appointments for yesterday. She sent me a text message on Saturday that said something along the lines of “I just looked at my bank account and I have absolutely no money. Can you cancel my appointment?”

Okay, first of all: you have to cancel appointments 24 hours in advance.
Second of all: LUCY’S BIRTHDAY WAS FOUR MONTHS AGO. YOU HAD FOUR MONTHS TO BUDGET FOR THE $50 IT WAS GOING TO COST.

I’m all for being financially responsible and for not spending the money that you don’t have, but seriously? Thanks for letting me pay for all three Groupons. And dealing with finding someone else to use yours at the last minute. And for being a complete tool.

I absolutely love Colleen, but sometimes I just want to poke her eyes out.

* * *

My massage was bitchin’ good. The timing was fantastic, getting all of that half marathon out of my sore muscles.

* * *

My coworker Marie got engaged this weekend! I mostly work with dudes, or women who are quite a bit older than me, so this is the first time I’ve gotten to experience the women-of-the-office-gather-‘round-the-desk-and-squeal phenomenon.

I try to be all cool and pretend that I’m immune to all of that wedding hullabaloo but, um, that’s a total lie. Tulle and banquet halls and diamonds and bridesmaid dresses and fondant and bachelorette parties and OMG, I am so happy for her.

And I was just weaning myself off of my wedding blog addiction, too. (Yeah. I know, I know. I’m ashamed of myself.)

* * *
Currently reading: Last Night at Chateau Marmont by Lauren Weisberger.

It isn’t very good. Entertaining enough, yes. Strengthening my mind/broadening my worldview/leaving me spellbound, eh, not so much.

* * *

Lucy and I are going to Vegas for three days in December.

* * *

Carrots and hummus make an excellent snack.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Boxed up and comfortably numb

I haven’t written much about the state of my family in the wake of my dad’s epic mistake. Partially because I don’t know what to say. Partially because I don’t want to be too optimistic. Partially because once my suspicions were confirmed it suddenly became so personal and so real that it became really hard to write about.

But I blog about my life and, well, I guess this is my life now. An ugly chain of events brought me here, where I can now be described as a girl whose dad cheated on her mom. I’m a lot more, of course. But that stupid choice is part of who I am now, too. Just a little less trusting than I was exactly two months ago. And, gosh, I wasn’t all that trusting back then, either.

It feels like more than two months have passed since that whole thing blew up. I expected it to take longer to get to this point, where I still remember it all so well – like, every single detail – but the pain is less acute. ...and oftentimes completely nonexistent.

The scabs are gone but the scar is still bright pink.

At this point, less than two months out, I expected to still hurt. There are moments when I do – when I look at my mom or I look at my dad and I feel like I’ve been punched in the face – but I mostly feel numb. I’m not angry anymore. I’m not sad anymore. I’m not disgusted anymore. I’m just...nothing. Nothing except tired of this being part of my life. I prefer not to think about it.

I know that I’ll have to tackle this subject eventually. I don’t think that therapy is optional. I know that beneath the safety of my numbness is a lot of guilt and fear and anger and disappointment and rage and pain and humiliation. I know that I can’t avoid this forever. I will face it. All of it.

But I think that I’m going to avoid it all for just a little bit longer. Because I am so tired. And it seems to me that carrying a closed box of ugly feelings is so much easier than carrying an open one.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Travel Thursday: South Africa Day 5

We were supposed to go to Soweto. But then our guest house burned down and everything got all messed up and we ended up not having anything scheduled for June 21.

At the suggestion of the proprietor of our original accommodations, I had made us reservations for dinner. We were promised that the restaurant was just fantastic, all authentic South African and a really great experience. We’d tried to make reservations there over the weekend with no luck, so we snagged a table for two on Monday night.

On Monday during the day, we found ourselves at the African Craft Market again. We snagged a ride up to the mall with the proprietor of our original hotel, plus the cool British guy who was travelling with the other Americans. The British guy was about to catch his plane back home and needed a few more souvenirs. So we hit the craft market, had a quick lunch at the mall before heading back to the hotel.

We spent a few hours relaxing. I blogged and checked my email; Meg did homework and uploaded photos. Oh, and we watched some soccer on TV, too. You couldn’t get away from the tournament if you tried. And we certainly weren’t trying!

At some point, we got sick of just laying around and decided to head off in the direction of dinner. The restaurant was in an area where we had been – with lots of shopping and restaurants and the ability to walk around. We took a taxi there a bit early, so that we could have a drink and maybe shop a bit before dinner.

I met my new boyfriend, Zakumi.



Zakumi is the 2010 World Cup mascot. His name is a combination of ZA, an abbreviation for South Africa, and “kumi,” which translates into 10 in various languages across Africa. If you can’t tell, he’s a leopard. With green hair. He’s a cheeky fellow.

The restaurant was packed. I fully expected this, considering how difficult it has been to get a reservation and knowing that it promised to be a very Africa experience. It was one of the many times when I looked around, in awe of how many different people from so many different countries and so many different cultures.

The restaurant was dark and cavernous. After winding down a staircase, we were seated in the basement. In the room with us was an enormous group of Frenchmen. There had to be at least 20 of them. It totally ruined the ambiance, but I was still excited that we could see the television that was showing the Spain game.

The waiters all wore traditional (or so we were told) African clothing. And they painted your faces. PAINTED YOUR FACES. Apparently that’s African? I’m not sure. I just know that, at the age of 27, I was pretty fired up to get my face painted.



We definitely waited a while for our meals and didn’t see our server very often, which seemed to be a combination of how busy the restaurant was and the different pace of the South African lifestyle. (Throughout the trip, I was constantly reminding myself that I was in no hurry, that I didn’t need to rush.)



When we finally got our meals, they were exceptional.



We were finishing up our dinner just as the Spain game was ending. And, as the final whistle blew, the restaurant sound system started blaring the official song of the World Cup.

Which Meg and I absolutely love. Because it was played everywhere we were in South Africa. Because it has so many good memories attached to it. Because it is by South Africa. Because it is catchy, damnit!

So we got up and danced with the waitstaff, who were also breakin’ it down to Shakira.

And, while I’m not sure how we turned it into such a spectacle, all of a sudden the song was on its second run through and we were dancing with some waitressed and completely surrounded by men. First it was just a group of Middle Eastern men, who weren’t shy to step between the two of us and snap a photo. Then the group of Frenchmen joined in, I think because the recognized how silly the situation was, and they formed a circle taking pictures of the Middle Eastern men taking pictures with us. Oh, and one of the Frenchman stood behind us with a French flag.



It was hilarious.



But not as hilarious as Meg getting the phone number of one of the Middle Eastern men, which happened when she sneaked away from the table to take a few pictures of the restaurant.



It was a really, really fun night.

After dinner, we were accosted by two Brazilian guys who we had talked to as we were going into a restaurant. We walked around with them for a short bit. The one, Enrique, kissed us both within a 20 minute stretch and gave us some line about the best kisses being stolen ones. Hahaha. Tool.

We went with the Brazilians to a bar but, before we even ordered drinks, they were gone. I don’t think we were living up to their dreams of loose, easy American girls and, as we were going to be too much work, they were out. And that’s fine.

It was shortly thereafter that we met The Biggest Jackass of all Times, seriously one of the most arrogant men I’ve ever met – a college-aged kid from New Jersey – who was hanging out with this kid from New Zealand.

I don’t want to get into the whole story now – since I’ve mentioned it before – but the Kiwi was the guy who Meg wanted to run off with but I wouldn’t let her and she was all pissy pants with me.



Sort of a crappy ending to a day that, otherwise, was really awesome.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Technology is tricky

One of my favorite features on my last car was the keypad that allowed me keyless entry into the vehicle.

There are definitely situations when I don’t want to be hauling my keys around. Mostly in situations when I don’t have your purse, too. If I don’t have my purse, I probably shouldn’t have my keys. Because I will lose them. So, in situations when I don’t bring my purse with me (soccer and hockey games, stopping by a friend’s house, etc.), I like tossing my keys into my purse and locking the whole thing in my trunk. When I’m ready to leave, I just punch in the code to my car, retrieve my keys and go off on my merry way.

Having a car without a nifty keypad was unappealing, so I was fired up when my new Milan had the same feature. Woo, simplicity!

In the few weeks that I’ve had the car, I haven’t bothered to customize the keyless entry code to something that I could actually memorize. But I also haven’t had much reason to use that feature other than at the 10K Meg and I ran the day after my birthday. In which we wrote the code on my hand. (We’re high tech.)

Of course, Sunday came around and I didn’t really want to run the half marathon with my keys. So I dug around in my purse until I found the factory-programmed keyless entry code and, again, Meg and I wrote it on our hands. Then we locked the keys in the car and went on our merry way.

You know where this is going.

We get back to the car and I punch in the code and NOTHING. I punch it in again and again and then I look at the number on Meg’s hand and, okay, we’re in trouble. We try reversing a few numbers and we’re still locked out of the car.

I immediately assume that I wrote down the number wrong. And also recited the number wrong to Meg. Because that is the sort of thing that I would do. I’m bad with numbers.

Also our cell phones are locked in the car. I should mention that. And we’re in the middle of downtown Detroit and we’re sweaty and my legs are wobbly.

We’re pretty sure that we’re screwed. So we go back to the finish line to watch some more of the race, because I guess we’re in a little bit of denial and also one of Meg’s professors is running the marathon and she knows his wife and kids and so hopefully we can borrow the wife’s phone and figure out what the hell we’re going to do.

But we obviously can’t find the wife/kids of her professor. And we’re watching the marathon finish line to see her professor finish and we’re not seeing him, either.

We stand around for a half hour and we’re both pretty cold. I am also a little delusional because, suddenly, I decide that I know that the 9 in the code should actually be a 7. I walk back to the car only to be denied again.

And then I go back to Meg to report my failure. And walk the block back to a parking garage (not even the one that we’re parked at, actually, but one that we park at almost every time we’re downtown) and sweet talk the employees into letting me use the phone.

It takes me three phone calls, a half-hour of sitting on a cement bench, walking four blocks, using the sculpture of Joe Louis' fist as a monument, a bit of luck and a lot of patience in order to get my spare key which, thankfully, I had stowed away at Mom and Dad’s house.

When we finally got into the car, I immediately dug into my purse for the Ford Motor Company-issued card that the factory-programmed keyless entry code was printed on. I am fully expecting to find that I wrote the number down wrong.

But I didn’t.

And this is shocking.

The factory-programmed code worked just a few weeks before! I am annoyed, but I am relieved. It’s not my fault!

I tried the code on the card once more after we get home. Still didn’t work. Stupid defective keypad. I chalked the whole thing up to really bad luck.

Until I found another Ford Motor Company-issued card with a different factory-programmed keyless entry code.

Yep. I was using the factory-programmed code to my old car.

I am kind of a jackass.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Snapshots from the Half

Because there's nothing like posting pictures of yourself without makeup on the internet!












First two pictures stolen from the Detroit Free Press; second two pictures courtesy of random strangers.

Monday, October 18, 2010

From the burning leg files

Can you smell my minty freshness wafting from your monitor? Don’t be alarmed. It is just the Biofreeze/IcyHot cocktail that I have slathered on no less than 70% of my body.

I ran my first half marathon yesterday.

And I am rather sore.

And still a little giddy from the post-race high. It was hard and awesome and frustrating and enlightening and...oh, so many things. So many emotions. But no regret.

The race started downtown. We ran across the bridge to Canada. Ran along the riverfront with the great people of Windsor cheering us along. We got back into the country via the Detroit/Windsor Tunnel, which was damp and humid and hot. Hitting the fresh air upon emerging from the tunnel felt just like jumping into a pool on a hot day. We ran down by Joe Louis Arena and up through some neighborhoods before finishing just where we started.

While I am far from a running expert, I thought that the race had a nice route. It seemed fairly flat and, other than the narrowness on the bridge, there was plenty of room. Also I liked the shirt. Truth: I will do nearly anything for a cool shirt.

As far as my performance goes, I honestly had no idea what to expect. I didn’t train for the half marathon as much as I probably should have. Nor did I follow any sort of a training plan. Nor did I run even 10 miles while preparing for the race. So, I guess I should be happy with my time. But I wish I finished a little faster.

I felt great for the majority of the race.

I ran almost the entire race with the 9:33 minute/mile pacer. I was a little bit ahead of her for a while and, when we were on the bridge (which was packed), fell a little bit behind. But in the last two or three miles of the race, I completely fell apart. My legs, which had felt so strong up until that point, just gave up on me. I really plodded my way to the finish, and that is sort of a bummer.

My chip time was 2:07.

I have room to improve. And room to be proud of how I finished.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A little Lucy to love

Last night at dinner, Lucy slips into conversation that she's not pregnant, but she's taking prenatal vitamins in preparation.

And I'm completely caught off guard.

Classy enough not to say anything, the inside of my head looks something like this: ??!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, so. I had no idea her and Chet were planning on reproducing in the near future. It completely knocked me on my ass.

Not that I should have been surprised. They've been married for four years now. She's finally through grad school. She landed the full-time job. Sense? It makes perfect sense.

I was still shocked. And really excited for her. And, selfishly, a little sad for myself.

It's going to be a big transition, right? I'm going to lose her to motherhood, aren't I?

And, after a few hours of silently sulking and feeling completely left out/pathetic (remember, Colleen has a boyfriend now so I am Single Sally and it blows), I got over it. Because those were the exact things I thought when she got married. And we're even better friends now.

Before I even got out of bed this morning, I decided on the perfect baby gift.

And exactly where I want to hold the baby shower.

Eeeeeee! Babies!

Friday, October 15, 2010

I don’t bounce back like I used to

Last weekend’s trip to Chicago was a short one. 51 quick hours in the Windy City and a drive home in the middle of the night makes for a tired little girl.

Still tired, folks. Still tired six days later.

Pathetic.

We got to Chicago at 7:00 pm (Central, that is. It was 8:00 pm in Detroit.). Ate dinner with Aunt Louise and Uncle Ed. Departed their house around 10:00 for our hotel. After the commute and parking and checking in, we were in our room by 11 and asleep around midnight.

We were up sometime during the 8:00 am hour, lounging around a little while before pulling on our running clothes for a quick lakeshore jog. Oh, I adore that about Chicago. The walking/running/biking paths that wind around the Lake Michigan shoreline. And on a sunny, warm day like last Saturday, it was pretty close to perfect. But I probably shouldn’t have eaten that chocolate chip cookie before we left the hotel.

The Chicago Marathon was last weekend. I mentioned that, right? So the city was filled with all of these super fit, superstar, super duper runners. I was fascinated by all of the people who were in town just to run 26.2 miles (the Chicago half-marathon is a different weekend); it will be interested to see how The D’s marathon stacks up.

When we got back from our run, we got ready for the day. We decked out in maize and blue, because the UM/MSU game was that afternoon. (Sadly, it didn’t end in favor of our Wolverines.) We stopped for a bagel with cream cheese and headed over to Michigan Avenue for a quick shopping trip.

A very quick shopping trip. We only made it to Niketown before I looked at my phone and – oops! We were supposed to be at my cousin Mara’s apartment in 10 minutes.

Needless to say we were late. Because I still needed to buy my U.S. Soccer t-shirt and we had to hail a cab and we were 10 minutes away.

We hadn’t seen Mara and Vic’s condo, so we met them for lunch and a tour. OMG, you guys. The condo. I wish I’d taken pictures. But they would have thought it was creepy. Just trust me when I say that it is gorgeous. Inside this grand building with a grand name and a doorman and just a few blocks from the lake. I will never live that life and, thus, I will drool just a little bit.

Okay. Mopping up the drool and moving on.

We went to a big UM bar to watch the first half of the football game. It was insane. INSANE. How can a whole bar be filled with Michigan fans? And all decked out in maize and blue? Even the staff wore UM gear. It was awesome. Nice to think that I could have a little piece of home in another city.

Thankfully, we left the UM bar before the tears started flowing. Stupid Spartans. Ugh.

So, we went to the soccer game. And while we were walking to Soldier Field, the “friends from Africa” that we told my aunt and uncle that we were meeting up with? We actually ran into them. What are the chances? Guilt, begone!

We had tickets in the front row, hence the magical pictures that I posted earlier this week. And the crowd? The crowd was SO POLISH! I knew that Chicago had a sizeable Polish population, but I didn’t realize how big it was until they were surrounding me, chanting “Pol-ska, Pol-ska.”

Sadly, I didn’t leave the game the biggest fan of the Polish supporters.

This guy came and hang his Poland banner in front of us. We let him. (Hanging banners is pretty common for soccer fans.) 10 minutes later, a security guard on the field comes by and says “sorry, girls, you have to take down that banner. It’s covering the USA Soccer sign.”

We were both wearing pro-USA outfits. He was a little confused. “It isn’t ours,” Meg told him. She untied one side of the banner, I untied the other side of the banner. I balled it up and tossed it to the man who hung it – he was sitting just a few rows behind us.

“WHAT. THE. FUCK?”

This guy was pissed. Immediately. I’m throwing my hands up and explaining, furiously, what happened. And he’s still bitching us out.

Meg stands up, turns around, looks this guy in the face and says “why don’t you come down here and say that to my face?”

HAHAHAHAHA.

It got a little ugly. He tried to hang the sign again. Called the security guard a stupid American. Swore a lot. Got kicked out. Bought a ticket to get back into the stadium. Got kicked out again. More ugly behavior. All for a stupid banner. A stupid banner that he could’ve hung on the other side of the stadium without a problem.

The guy was a complete jackass.

And then with all of the Polish fans chanting and cheering and yelling “fuck America!” (when they, like, live here) – yikes! It left a bad taste in my mouth.

We experienced nothing like that in South Africa. In the biggest tournament in soccer. Not at a silly “friendly” match that is essentially meaningless.

Maybe I was being a little sensitive.

Anyway. We ended the trip with an invigorating hike back to our car, a quick trip back to Mara’s condo to pick up Grandma and then The Longest Drive Home Ever.

Okay, 5 hours. But any trip that ends at 4 AM is not an awesome trip.

Especially after some Polish guy threatened to kick your ass.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Grandma's a good sport

My cousin Mara’s husband, Vic, is one of those guys who are always looking to pick up The Next Great Hobby. Golfing, boating, liquor connoisseur and, most recently, hunting.

They are quite wealthy, so he spares no expense when he jumps into his latest and greatest hobby. When he decided he wanted to hunt, he went straight to Africa.

He shot all sorts of animals – the sorts of animals Meg and I saw on our safari (and were so awed by their beauty that we could never fathom harming one) – and had them mounted for the walls of their OMG-I-cannot-believe-this-is-where-you-live condo in Chicago.

While the animal heads certainly aren’t my decorating cup of tea, Mara (and her army of interior designers) really works it. They look good. For being animal heads mounted on the wall, anyway.

I would consider getting my own animal head for my wall, however, if I could get my grandma to pose for pictures like this.



Warthog head: check.
Winter hat that can double as a pith helmet: check.
Houseplant: check
Adorable Norwegian Troll for model: check.

This is priceless.

Monday, October 11, 2010

You, too, can become a soccer fan












Just sayin'

Curse of the Crabby Goalie

As many of you know, I play ice hockey.

I am the goalie. I wear a mountain of padding and I willingly step in front of the shots fired by the other team.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit that I am not playing in the highest level of leagues, so it isn’t like these shots are coming at me 100 MPH. Please don’t think I’m too tough.)

The thing about goalies is that they’re not a particularly plentiful breed. While a youth team typically keeps one goalie on the roster, adult teams usually only have one.

And I am my team’s one goalie.

It sucks.

It sucks because it makes playing hockey into my job. My responsibility. While every other teammate can miss a game or a practice and it is no big deal, I cannot. I am the goalie. OMG, we have to have a goalie. Especially in practice, where the goalie stands around for the majority of the time.

It is annoying, but it is part of the job. I get that.

But, there are times when I just can’t be there. Like next Sunday. I run a half-marathon that day. When it comes to my hockey game, I will be sore. I will probably suck. And probably need help getting dressed.

We have a girl on our team who can/does play goalie, and she’s all pouting about having to play in net next Sunday.

Are you kidding me? You can’t do me ONE FAVOR? What about doing what’s best for the team?

It is so annoying sacrificing the rest of my life (oh, I need to leave this family party early – hockey game. Oh, I’m getting four hours of sleep tonight because I have a hockey game) for people who can’t even return the favor.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

One sided

The only way I can describe Bridezilla is as fragile. Her good - her very best state of mind - is fragile. Seriously.

She paints the world as being against her. I've never had an interaction when someone (professor, skating judge, friends of her husband, her boss, etc.) is doing something evil (not judging her as the best, being deliberately mean, not giving her the right feedback, etc.) to hurt her. She's paranoid and she's surrounded herself with people who feed into her beliefs. Who eat up her stories. Who never call her out on it.

It is really sad, actually. She is so screwed up but she can't see it.

I forgot how messed up she was until this week.

She left me a voicemail on Wednesday night. Sobbing.

I knew what it was before I called her back.

Her dad - who was diagnosed with lung cancer a year before her wedding - died.

I feel sad for her. I really do. I called her back and talked to her on the phone for almost an hour. I gave and gave and gave the best that I knew how. It isn't like I'm an expert with this sort of a thing.

And there were things that she said - crap she talked about her husband, mostly - that really rubbed me the wrong way but I kept my mouth shut. That certainly wasn't the time.

But, I was preparing myself to do the right thing. The funeral home and the funeral and all of that. I was preparing myself to go to all of those things. That's what friends do, right? It was like an extention of my bridesmaid duties. And, even though I know that Bridezilla wouldn't be there for me like I would be there for her, it was the right thing. I would do the right thing.

When I got back from Chicago, I had an email with the funeral arrangements in my inbox. It was preceeded by this:

"**The viewings, service, and lunch are closed, private events by inviation only.
Thank you in advance for not passing along this information**
"

Something about that sentence really rubbed me the wrong way.

What the hell is that supposed to mean? Who on earth does she think I'm going to tell? It's just...it's creppy, right? I know that she's greiving and probably not right in the head but, wow. Paranoid. She's always so paranoid.

I honestly think that she's got a bit of undiagnosed/untreated mental illness going on.

But I'm still allowed to think that's creepy, right? That can still unsettle me, no? Even with the grief and the mental illness and her history of acting so abnormal?

I plan to be a big person and go to the viewing tomorrow night.

And then I think that I'm going to have to phase her out of my life.

The timing is bad, I know. But a one-sided friendship is a one-sided friendship is a one-sided friendship.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Virtually a waterfall

As of late, everything (seriously – EVERYTHING) makes me cry. Expose me to something that contains any amount of emotion, be it happiness or exhilaration or uneasiness or amazement, I’m probably going to well up with tears.

On the webpage for the charity 10K Meg and I ran on Sunday was this story of a runner. Last year, he ran with his ill very ill, young son in a jogging stroller with the son’s cardiologist running alongside of him. This year, the father and the cardiologist ran together. The dad pushed an empty jogging stroller. In memory of his son.

I cried when I read it on the website. I held back tears when I told Meg the story when we were waiting at the starting line. I thought about it when I was running the course and blinked back tears again. And I could cry now.

I hear the UM fight song and I want to cry.

I think about all of the wonderful things that Lucy and Colleen did for me when my family was falling apart and I want to cry.

I’m remembered of a moment from our time in South Africa and I want to cry.

I mull over my job prospects and I want to cry.

I recall the joy that burst out of Ellie when I took her off of the leash at the dog park and I want to cry.

Would someone kindly explain this to me? Is this a side effect of aging? I was never like this. I would sit, stone-faced, through a sad movie. I’d occasionally get a lump in my throat when I witnessed an event that was particularly exceptional, but I never cried. Not like this. Not during health system commercials and after seeing a barista at Starbucks gives a free drink to someone and when I see a mother pick up her child and during Grey’s Anatomy and – name it, boys and girls. Name it and I’ve probably teared up because of it.

It’s sort of nice to know that I’m not a robot, though.

I’ve suspected it in the past.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Destination: Chicago

Meg and I planned this trip a couple of months ago. A quick jaunt to Chicago. Watch the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team play Poland at Soldier Field. Do a bit of shopping. Maybe go to Second City. You know.

The plan was to not see Aunt Louise and Uncle Ed because, um, well, because they’re difficult and controlling and I’d be okay with never going to their house again.

We’ve done this before, the Chicago Trip That Isn’t A Family Trip.

When I went to look at hotel rooms, I had a little surprise. Our trip was the same weekend as the Chicago Marathon. Saturday night rooms? Very expensive. Very hard to come by.

But Meg has to coach on Sunday mornings anyway, so we’d just drive home after the soccer match.

I used Priceline to get a room for Friday night. (Side note: I love Priceline. I love the bidding. I love the game.) And we were all set. Hurray!

Last weekend, we found out that Aunt Louise and Uncle Ed were going to be out of town.

So, Aunt Louise and Uncle Ed talk my grandma into watching their dogs for them while they’re gone. She always does that. Goes to Chicago to stay with their dogs even though their two adult children live in the city and could watch the dogs instead. She brings my grandpa along. Grandpa and Grandma would be in town when we were in town! Talk about timing. If we knew that we could just stay with them at Aunt Louise and Uncle Ed’s house, we would have stayed with them instead of booking a room.

But the room is non-refundable and oh well. Staying at the hotel assures that we’re five steps from prime shopping at all times.

Yesterday, Grandma calls. Grandpa doesn’t want to go to Chicago anymore. Grandma asks for a ride to Chicago.

OF COURSE, Grandma. Of course. We’ll drop you off at Aunt Louise and Uncle Ed’s and it will be easy-peasy. You’ll take a flight home in a few days. We’ll leave after the soccer game. Simple.

Grandma just called back. “I just talked to your Aunt Louise and she’s cancelled her trip,” she tells me. “But she would like me to visit anyway. So I was thinking that I could drive there and back with you.”

And our cute little sister trip to Chicago has turned into a trip to visit family who isn’t really very fun or nice. I can see how this is going to play out: Aunt Louse bullies us into having dinner with us on Friday night. Uncle Ed gives us a hard time about staying at the hotel. Uncle Ed wants to chauffer us to the game. Aunt Louise and Uncle Ed rag on us about leaving on Saturday and how unsafe it is and how we should most definitely stay at their house and leave in the morning and – sorry – that isn’t a suggestion, it is an order.

UGH.

I fear that this whole weekend is just going to be a giant battle for control between me (I’m quite sensitive when it comes to my aunt and uncle and their regular willingness to tell me exactly what is best for me, whether I ask for their opinion or not) and my aunt (who, honestly, is pushy and demanding).

This will be great practice at being assertive.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Dating could be my third job

Colleen has a boyfriend.

And I am really, truly thrilled for her. She seems genuinely happy. And, while I have a few concerns, none of those concerns are any of my business unless they hurt Colleen. She told me the things that caused me concerns. It isn’t like she doesn’t know. She is a big girl.

I haven’t even met the guy yet.

I am going to cheer them on. And wear the bridesmaid dress if the time comes. Or take her out for drinks and dancing and shameless flirting with distractions if it comes to that.

But Colleen’s new boyfriend isn’t what this is about.

This is about me. Because this is my naval-gazing blog and it is all about me. Obviously.

(Am I not, like, the best at being self-absorbed?)

I'm jealous.

It's not fair that Colleen gets to be all sunshine and giggles and I'm, like, The Princess of Pessimism and Gloom.

It is circumstance as much as it is luck. Colleen made this a priority. She did the work. She joined the websites and wrote the emails and went on the dates and I...well, I've worked 60 hours a week and went to the gym and planned an entire trip to South Africa. I haven't made it a priority, so I will take the blame.

It is my fault.

I am in this situation because I haven't done a thing to get myself out of it.

But that doesn't mean that I have to like it.

I just feel a little like my hands are tied. That no matter how much I would like to commit to this (the bad dates and the creepy dudes and the rejection and then finding The Greatest Guy Ever), I'm not sure that I can. I don't know it it is the right time (Will I know when it is the right time? Will it ever be the right time?) I don't know that I have it in me.

I wish that I was there. I want to be there. I just don't think that I am.

Meeting a bunch of guys only to have most of them turn out to be duds sounds positively exhausting. And spending the precious few hours that I have free per week playing the Greatest Guy Ever lottery? I don't know. I don't know if I can do that. I'm already tired and overwhelmed. Every day. How do you add dating to an already full plate?

I want to feel like it is feasible to make it a priority. I would love to make it a priority. I just don't know that it is in the cards for me right now.

So here I am. Stuck. Waiting for something organic to happen. Waiting to stumble upon a guy who I like enough to spend my precious few free hours giving it a try.

Counting on falling into a fairytale, basically.

It's really no wonder that I'm single.

But, damn, getting to be anything else is going to be a hell of a lot of work.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Birthday or bridal shower?

Birthdays are nice because they remind you of how many people in your life really dig you.

Of course, I recently had The Great Family Mess of 2010 that reminded me of how many people in my life really dig me, too, but this reason was much better. Less adultery, more sweets! And presents.

I really made out on the presents, you guys.

Lucy and Colleen went in on a shit ton of Le Creuset cookware for me. In kiwi! Seriously. Who needs to get married and have a bridal shower when you have best friends like these two? Although, to onlookers in the restaurant, it probably looked like an impromptu wedding shower when I was opening and opening and opening (loaf pan, pie dish, butter dish, square dish, etc.). This may be a subtle hint that they’d like me to bake them a pie and some banana bread and some dark chocolate brownies but obviously I would’ve done that anyway.

Yeah, so now I’m all trolling the web for anything Le Creuset has ever made in kiwi. And this is why I am poor.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Birthday girls have hang-ups, too

It is my birthday weekend!

I don’t turn 28 until tomorrow. 10:12 am, if we’re being technical. I’ll be at work. 12 minutes into my five hour workday.

It is my birthday weekend and there is a lot planned. I am thankful.

Tonight, I am going to dinner and the comedy club with Lucy and Colleen. We could get a $5 pizza and eat it next to a dumpster and I’d be grateful. Those girls have been my biggest champions for the last five weeks. I should be the ones buying them presents.

Tomorrow is dinner with the family. Between when I finish with work and when we need to leave for the family dinner, I hope to convince a family member – Meg, probably – to join me on a trip to the dog park with Blue and Ellie. The dog park makes me happy.

I have grand expectations for dinner. We’ll have six at our table. My cousin, her boyfriend and my aunt and uncle will be at another table in the restaurant. We’ll meet for drinks when I’m through. It will be nice.

Meg and I are running that 10K on Sunday morning. It is early enough that we’ll get done in time for my weekly dog park date with Lucy. Which will be awesome. And make me happy.

It should be a really good, really fun weekend.

And I wish that I felt cuter for all of it. That I didn’t dread picking out things to wear and putting on makeup and fixing my hair and putting myself together. It all seems like so much work with so little reward. I’ll do it all – put on a dress and tame my curls and smear on lip gloss – and I’ll still feel like this. Really plain. Generally unremarkable.

I do not like when I feel this way.

Which is more often than I would like to admit.

This is what I get, I suppose. This is what I get in exchange for a consistent, healthy, effortless weight. A different hang-up. Same crappy song in another key.
 
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