Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday morning

Coffee. Newspaper. Sun. Deck. Quiet.

Next time I bitch about my life, please punch me in the face.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The present

I didn’t cry yesterday.

And I didn’t feel sick from the time I woke up until the time that I went to sleep.

And I ate. Not like I normally eat, but a lot better than the last 10 days of struggling to gag down a banana merely to keep me from passing out on my drive to work.

I kept my head above the water. And then The Coach came over. And for a few hours, I was able to focus on the present: the lightning outside of my windows, his confessed love of the Christmas season, the stories behind our middle names, sugar cookies and broken noses and so much other nonsense that I remember in such incredibly acute detail that I think that I may just write it down for good measure. On a piece of lined paper that reads The Most Perfect Night Ever at the top, in my messy hybrid cursive-print handwriting.

When he hugged me and told me that he had missed me, I didn’t think about how much I would miss those gloriously strong hugs that always make me feel so tiny yet so important. But I did tell him, quietly, that missing me after just a few days was about to become a whole lot worse.

When he left, I didn’t think about how hard it was going to be when he leaves for good.

When I crawled back into bed after locking my doors and turning off my lights, I slid into the spot on the mattress that was still warm from his body and I didn’t think about the distance and the time zones and the ever-shrinking number of days until his departure.

I went to sleep so, so happy.

I’m going to miss him.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Open windows

I change in front of open windows. I do it all the time. I tell myself that I will be quick, that nobody is looking, that I barely have anything for a wandering eye to see. I change in front of open windows even though I know that I shouldn’t. Even though I know that somebody could be watching.

I blog in much the same way.

And I was reminded of that yesterday.

First, there was an anonymous comment. Then a follow up email that came in response to my panicked pulling a few of the posts that I wrote last week. I was in the middle of changing and I turned around and saw two eyes staring right at me and then I remembered why you don’t change in front of windows in the first place. Because you’re vulnerable and you’re exposed.

But I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t change in front of open windows.

And I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t blog the way that I blog.

I have been blogging for nearly seven years. I have written 2,037 posts. And if you wanted to read through those 2,037 posts, you could gather enough information to figure out where I used to work. And where I work now. You could easily learn my first, middle and last names. You could dig around and come up with Meg’s stats and the team she’s coaching now and where she is at grad school. You would know the church where we held Aunt Marie’s funeral. You could figure out every show my cousin Danielle has acted in as a professional. You could dig up the cause of death of the grandfather I never knew. You could determine the rinks that I skated at and the soccer teams I played on and the high school that I attended. You could gather up enough information to email my mom at work or call my dad at home or send flowers to my grandma.

I know this. I have known this. Just as I change in front of open windows even though I know that I shouldn’t. Just as I know that somebody could be watching.

I have never turned around to find someone watching me.

And I have never had reason to think that someone would care enough to read my blog, piecing together tiny clues and throwing them into a search engine. The clues that are undoubtedly there. And the research doesn’t require much skill. But for me? For this insignificant blog with the tiny following?

I knew that it could happen but I didn’t think that it would. And it did. And it scared the shit out of me.

But the posts that I pulled yesterday are live again.

If I delete one post, I should delete them all. Nearly seven years. 2,037 total.

And I’m not going to do that. I can’t do that.

Maybe in the future. But not now.

I’m not ashamed of what I have written here. This blog is my truth and this blog is me and I have spent too much of my life feeling scared and embarrassed to be my genuine self. I’m not going to delete seven years of truth. Messy, ugly, complicated truth. My truth. Me.

This fling with The Coach has given me long-overdue permission to be myself in a setting where I am normally very reserved. Around him, I don't try to be anyone but myself. Neurotic and silly. Unexplained, ugly purple bruises. Horrible jokes. Messy hair. Imperfections and honesty and every trait that makes me the person who I am. Amongst all of the things that I am - a sister and a runner and a reader and a baker - I am a blogger.

For the time being, I will continue to be a blogger.

Clearly, I need to be more careful. Obviously, I need to watch my back and my blog statistics and my Tweets and the pictures that I post and the places that I reference.

But I believe that I could never write so generically that I could ever be assured of being completely anonymous. Which makes this a matter of blogging versus not blogging. And I'm not going to stop blogging.

So, if it is your prerogative, search around. Take notes. Deduce the name of my primary care physician. Find the lake my parents live on and plug it in Google Earth.

Or you could take the straightforward approach and simply ask me the question that you want to type into the search engine. I'm neither as quick nor as fast as Google, but I know the subject fairly well.

And it's the decent thing to do.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Totally awesome, really

Creepy anonymous comment that suggests that the commenter was easily able to Google, find The Coach = a lot of posts from last week have been taken down for the time being. It doesn’t come close to fixing the problem of launching my own stupidity onto the Interwebs, but it will have to do for the moment.

Probably time to rethink how much I share and how closely I monitor my blog statistics.


Plight of the party planner

I am not going to write about The Coach today. I don’t have the energy. I don’t have the words. I am frustrated with him. I am frustrated with the situation. I am frustrated with myself. I am going to pretend that none of this is happening – happening ridiculously quickly – and bitch about Maria’s wedding barbecue instead.

Maybe other people plan parties differently than I plan parties, but my goodness, this is turning into a gong show that I have no control over. I would really like to assure that Maria has a great little lake day - which is less than two weeks away - for her friends and family but I’m not getting any help here.

Not from Maria, anyway. My mom is kicking ass all over the place (because that’s what my mom does) and has been helping me plan a menu and plot out the logistics of seating and the location of the bar and how to coax information out of Maria. But Maria? Seriously, I’m not sure how many times I need to ask about the number of people I should expect or how she would like to send out invitations (as we are now two weeks out, you would think that these things would be a priority) but I would think that I’ve hit that magical number.

Maybe Maria thinks that I’m just going to run to the grocery store on the morning of her party and buy hot dogs, buns and soda?

That’s not really how I roll.

At this point, the plan is to put together a fabulous sandwich bar with tons of fun breads and different toppings and a panini press or two. The guests can get creative and assemble something tasty. I want little cards with suggested sandwiches that have cute names. I want table tents to identify all of the ingredients. I also want time to create such pretty little lovelies. Which I will not have if I am planning this entire fiesta in a week’s time, which may be exactly what I am doing.

Apparently, Maria’s family consists of a lot of really boring, plain eaters, so a sandwich bar will allow them to make a plain turkey sandwich on Wonderbread (not really. I will not purchase Wonderbread under any circumstances.) while giving the others the option to pile on sprouts and hummus and chicken salad and the distilled tears of a baby unicorn on two slices of focaccia and feel happy inside.

For sides, we’ll just do a bunch of different salads and fruits and veggies and chips and dips. Hopefully people will find the variety and the flexibility sort of fun. And I think that going this route will be easier than doing a traditional hamburger/hotdog barbecue because then I won’t have to worry about somebody having to man the grill for half of the day because I’m expecting that this will be a little like an open house and people will just come and go as they please.

(Of course, that’s really a guess because Maria hasn’t answered my questions about when she would like this soiree to begin and end, either.)

Dessert will be a crap ton of cookies. All sorts. In mass quantities. Set up in some way that is aesthetically pleasing and also awesome. I have slowly started baking and freezing cookies in preparation. I’d have a lot more done if it hadn’t been so ridiculously hot as of late. Oh, and if I hadn’t had a nervous breakdown because The Coach decided to take a job halfway across the country.

Tonight, I’m bringing Maria and her fiancé over to Mom and Dad’s house so that they can take a look around. I’m not really sure why, except that Maria sort of mentioned wanting to bring her fiancé by even though I had already taken her to the house. Whatever. I’m down with it.

What I am not down with is the nagging feeling that, despite the plans I’ve made and the cookies that I’ve baked, Maria could pull the plug on this.

I hope that I’m wrong. I don't really have the energy to throw this party in the first place, but I will do it for Maria. Planning for a party that doesn't even happen? That would probably put me over the edge.

Monday, July 25, 2011

An entire weekend, wasted

There is not anything to say that hasn't been said.

The Coach is still leaving. I'm still upset about it.

I took a yoga class at a new studio. I saw Friends With Benefits with Meg. I went to work. I went to Maria's bachelorette party. I cried in my car. I brainstormed menus with my mom. I nibbled on a grilled cheese sandwich. I took the dogs on a boat ride. I had a soccer game and I scored a pretty goal. I did something painful and uncomfortable to my ribs. I baked the cookies that I’d been meaning to bake for a week. I watched Meg’s hockey game. I read a book and absorbed nothing. I talked on the phone with Lucy. I had horrible anxiety dreams.

It was not an awesome weekend.

Friday, July 22, 2011

19 days

This still sucks so bad.

I thought that it would start to hurt a little less. I assumed that this dull ache would die away completely. I was sure that I would feel like myself again by the time the weekend rolled around and here I am on Friday night: home from dinner at Lucy's where I just picked at my food and tried to act like nothing was wrong, only to get in my car and cry the entire drive back to my apartment.

I hope that I start to feel better when I get to actually see The Coach. Because talking to him hasn't calmed me down any.

That isn't entirely true. I was exchanging text messages with him late last night and it was fun, funny, lighthearted, delightful. Silly and flirty and about absolutely nothing. And especially not about his big move.

Which has been discussed.

He is leaving on August 10.

Which is so soon that I can't even stand to look at a calendar.

Which is so soon that I can't eat.

Which is so soon that all I can do is look at everything planned from now until August 10 - soccer games, bachelorette party, work, Maria's pre-wedding barbeque, the wedding - with contempt.

Which is just so, so soon. It breaks my heart.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thank you

When I went to the gym on Tuesday night – less because I really felt like exercising and more because I needed to run some of the anxiety out of my system – I was walking in behind a man and his grandson. The man was on crutches and I am sure that he shouldn’t have been: he was all bent over and his legs were askew and he was so, so unsteady.

Inside the gym, we stood in line to have our membership cards swiped. The man took his card out of his wallet and was talking to the staff person at the front desk. I had been looking at my phone, and I was just tucking it into my bag when I looked up and saw the man falling backwards.

Right into my arms.

I caught him under his (sweaty) armpits and helped him back to standing.

It isn’t much different than what you all have done for me this week. You saw me tipping backwards and stretched out your arms – left me sweet comments or tweeted me your sympathies or sent me thoughtful emails – and caught me before my crutches slipped out from under me and I hit the ground.

It hasn’t been a good week. And if I must have to have bad weeks, I want to have them right here, out loud, on this blog. Because you guys are the best cheerleaders that a girl could ever ask for.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Press releases and other insanity

Something that I learned yesterday: it is one thing to know that something is happening, but it is quite another to read about it. Last night featured a Twitter announcement (which made me cry) and a press release (which made me cry) and the recurrence of the overwhelming sadness that had finally started to die down.

This morning, the team posted the press release on their F'book account. The press release had a headshot of The Coach as press releases often do and, this is not a lie, out of the first 5 comments, 3 of them read as follows:
a. Handsome
b. LOL! I was gonna say "Hottie!" but didnt know what the "serious fans" would think. :)
c. Cute and qualified!

Bitches best keep their distance or I’m going to show them what girls from Detroit are made of.

Except that I’m actually from the suburbs and those jersey chasing whores probably wouldn’t be intimidated by an angsty poem and a pile of tissues.

* * *

Can we pause for a moment and reflect on how weird/hilarious it is that I am with a guy who gets press releases written about him? And there are people who care enough to comment on the press releases? This is bizarre to me. Does the universe not know that I am a plain and lowly librarian?

* * *

We haven’t had a good talk since this all blew up. I absolutely understand why – he is getting pulled in a lot of different directions, he’s getting dozens and dozens of congratulatory phone calls and text messages and emails and he’s 8 hours away coaching at an elite camp for elite kids. I’m giving him space and not pushing for any deep chats or significant decisions or anything because I’d rather do it in person when he gets back at the end of the weekend, anyway. And because I’m not ready. And because I’m scared and overwhelmed and exhausted and I can’t eat and don’t know what I even want to say.

* * *

“You’re going to come and visit me, right?” he asked me on Sunday night, when all of this was still hypothetical.
“I’ll come and visit you if you want me to come and visit you,” I told him. “Did you want me to come and visit?”
He answered in the affirmative. January, he suggested. “It will be in the 80s,” he said as though he wasn’t reason enough.

* * *

Maybe this is naïve, but however we decide to leave our relationship (I’m putting my money on it staying exactly as it is: casual and free to see other people) at the time that The Coach leaves, I expect that I will hear from him.

Do you guys remember when he first started chasing after me? It was December 26. I was skipping my high school reunion and going downtown to see a musical with my mom and my sister. I didn’t have his number in my phone and I had no idea who had texted me. Entirely out of the blue, it was The Coach.

I haven’t stopped hearing from him since.

Not when he was on campus. (Tell me he couldn’t find other girls to occupy his time on a college campus.) Not when he was on road trips. Not when he came home for the summer.

He’s not one for disappearing entirely. Not historically.

My friend Ashley – who knows The Coach – always insists that he doesn’t have the game that everyone assumes (based on his looks) that he has, and that he isn’t the guy who brings home random girls and he’s not the consummate man whore and he isn’t as confident as he appears and he tends to favor the familiar. Which is why he was in that toxic relationship for so long. Which was why he had the courage to go after me in the first place: he already knew me.

And that is why I’m not expecting him to move, meet a new girl within the first four days and completely disappear. So, if that’s not setting myself up to be disappointed I don’t know what is.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

No more crying in the yoga studio

“You know, you’re really strong,” The Coach told me on Sunday night. He was commenting on my physical strength – which, to me, was awfully funny. (I am fit, but I am a weakling.)

But he’s right. I am strong, damnit. I might not be able to move my bookcase, but I am strong. And I will continue to be strong.

I will get through this.

Give me a few more days to mope. The Coach is gone for the remainder of the week – guest coaching at a summer camp – and I will use this time to pout. When he returns at the end of the weekend, I will be back to myself. No more crying despite being happy for him. No more sulking despite knowing that I could never lay claim to The Coach in the first place.

It’s going to be okay. We have a month. His team makes one trip up north in October and another in March. He’ll be home for Thanksgiving. And for a couple of weeks at Christmas. If he decides not to stay there during the off-season (or if he decides not to renew his contract), he could be back as soon as the beginning of April.

And I state these things merely because I know them, not because even one second of any of those trips is owed to me. Not because I have expectations. We are fun and casual and uncommitted and I don’t see that changing between now and when The Coach leaves. He’ll leave with his independence; I will stay here with mine.

It can’t be anything more. No matter how much I wish that the circumstances were different, no matter how many scripts of romantic comedies this could follow, the reality is that he is not mine and I am not his and I can’t spend the next nine months of my life holding my breath.

There is so much about this that I hate and so little of this that I can change. From the beginning, I knew that this was a possibility. I knew to keep a safe distance. I knew to protect my heart. I knew to keep my expectations low. I knew all of those things and I essentially did none of them. And I’m going to have to deal with the fallout. Clean up the mess. Put on the brave face. Get over it.

I have no other choice. So I will.

After taking a few more days to wallow in the sadness and the unjustness and my general disappointment.

No more crying in the yoga studio, however. That was just embarrassing.

Monday, July 18, 2011

It's all but official

Found out at 6:00 this evening.

Cried my way through my 7:15 yoga class.

Hate this.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

We all knew it was going to happen

The Coach got a job offer.

It isn't one of the jobs that I coaxed him into telling me about last week. Another job. Where the program and the opportunity aren't as great, but the location and the lifestyle (read: no snow) make it desireable. And it's a sure thing, while the other jobs aren't. This might be his last chance. The season starts soon.

He's going to take it.

That's my gut feeling. We talked about it a lot tonight. He's leaning heavily towards taking that job. The sure thing. Located the greatest distance away.

When he's not in front of me, all I want to do is call him up and tell him not to go. But when he was here tonight, in my bed and pouring his heart out, all I could be was enthuiastic and supportive. All I could do was understand the decision that he's making and promise him that he knows what the right choice is. Because I really think that he does. Even though that choice probably doesn't include me.

I'm genuinely happy for him. And I am so, so sad for me. The last couple of weeks, it's felt like we're right there. At the cusp of something real. Something more than just fun.

And in three weeks, he could be gone.

And I'll be right here. With my ass on the floor and my back against the wall and my laptop balancing against my thighs, trying to hold it together and failing miserably.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Job offer (not mine)

It is really easy
To be fine with something
Until it is real
And starting at you
Right in the
And waving around
A plane ticket

(No driving
Not possible
At all)

And then
It is less fine
And also

Not to mention
A damn good
In putting on
A happy, happy face
And my finest
And most convincing

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hating on bachelorette parties

Bachelorette parties are stupid.

Bachelorette parties are just like New Year’s Eve: you get all excited and you spend a shitload of money and you never, never have the fun that you expected to have when you spent 14 hours in the bathroom getting ready to go out.

I have a bad attitude about bachelorette parties right now because I’m in the midst of paying way, way too much money for the pleasure of attending Maria’s and, honestly? It seems a little ridiculous. I get the point of it. I get the “going out with the girls for one last hurrah” aspect of it. What I don’t get is the part where I am expected to gleefully spend and spend and spend and spend to fund a night that probably won’t end up being all that awesome.

(Someone remind me of this post when I’m getting married and am all Bridezilla about the size of my bachelorette tiara or the type of limo that my friends rent for my Last Fling Before The Ring. Remind me by punching me in the face.)

As a serial bridesmaid, what pisses me off most about bachelorette parties (besides that they never turn out being all that enjoyable) is that most potential attendees pull the shoot at the last minute. A limo split 10 ways turns into a limo split four ways and, as a bridesmaid, you’re expected to smile and go along with the tripling of your bill. Anything for the bride! Here’s my credit card!

All rationality goes out the window. Like, I know that you’ve spent your entire life picturing your bachelorette party or whatever, but when your posse dwindles down to a handful of devotees, scale it down. Suggest skipping the pedicures at the beginning. Realize that you don’t have to stay at a hotel that night.

Be reasonable. Look at the group dynamics. The majority is skipping out on the spa portion of the event and just meeting you at the bar? It’s probably too expensive. And the suckers who are going (I always fall into this category) probably think that it is too expensive, too. Or too lame or too risqué or whatever. If you force it, you’re just going to be surrounded by girls who are just there because they feel that they have to be there. That doesn’t exactly cultivate an awesomely wild, memorable and incredible evening. And that is why your bachelorette party will be like New Year’s Eve: way more awesome in your head than it ends up being in reality.

Think of someone other than yourself. Especially if someone expresses concerns about the ever-inflating cost of the event. Especially if it is me because, honestly, I’m being a damn good sport here. I am not the bridesmaid who is going home after dinner. I am not the bridesmaid who won’t stay the night at the hotel. I am the one who is stepping up to give you a fun night. And you are raping my wallet. Again. (Yes, again. Remember the bridesmaid dress?)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

America's Team

Just before my senior year in high school, my parents took me and Meg to Chicago to see the 1999 Women’s World Cup. We were one of hundreds of girls there, in our ponytails and our soccer shorts and our soccer sandals, watching what we knew. Soccer. Women’s soccer.

We weren’t that different from American team on the field, with their ponytails and their soccer shorts and the soccer sandals they slipped on after their match.

They were our team. And then, with an astounding victory a few weeks later in the World Cup final, they became the country’s team. I was 16 years old and I knew that the World Cup victory was significant. Not because they won – the team was so, so dominant during that time – but because they won and people saw it. People who didn’t give a damn about soccer, let alone women’s soccer.

The sport that I had been dedicated to for years was suddenly legitimate. Women’s sports were suddenly legitimate.

As it always does, that excitement surrounding the Women’s National Team died down. I forgot what 1999 was like. When I felt like I had won that World Cup, too. Because I was one of those girls in a ponytail and soccer shorts. One of the thousands and thousands of girls who were parts in the U.S. Soccer machine. Not one of the players, but a slice of force in a movement that made my sport – and every sport played by a female athlete – just a little bit more accepted by the mainstream.

I was at work when the Women’s National Team beat Brazil in dramatic fashion in the quarterfinals on Sunday. I followed the action on Twitter. I logged in to Facebook. And there were the tweets and the status updates – from soccer people and from non-soccer people alike – cheering for this team. For my team. For a team of women playing the sport that America can never quite bother to care about. It was astounding to see. And all of those years on the soccer pitch, and all of those teams and all of the pairs of cleats and all of the sacrifice that I made in order to play the beautiful game felt legitimate and respected once again.

And, again, I was able to shake off the years of blank stares and all of the disinterest and the refusal to understand why this game was so important to me. For once, I didn’t have to apologize for my sport and my game and my passion.

It goes without saying where I will be on Sunday morning: wearing red, white and blue. Cheering on my team.

And no matter what the result, at 4:00 that afternoon, I will lace up my boots for my own game.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Staring at the map

"Tell me something vague about your super secret job prospect." I said it under my breath as I scooted closer to him, burying myself into my duvet, looking at him with hopeful eyes and a mischievous smile.

I knew that there was something brewing, but he's been hesitant to talk about it. I get it. There's his superstitious athlete side. And the side that has already been burnt a few times during this whole hiring process. And his pride. It is one thing to tell me that he's been rejected, but probably another when I know exactly who did the rejecting.

"Just something vague," I reiterated. "You don't have to tell me where." Even though that's exactly what I wanted to know. Where as in the state. Not the school, which is exactly what matters to him and what makes a very, very small difference to me.

I just to be able to find it on a map. To be able to picture where it falls in relation to here. So that I can know exactly how far away he will be and precisely how sad I should be if and when he gets the job.

Sadness level is determined with a sliding scale based upon distance. Really, really far away = really, really sad. Sort of far away = sort of sad.

"It isn't a secret," he said, chuckling. And then he told me.

The super secret job prospect was actually three super secret job prospects. Two are on the East Coast. One is at a school in the Midwest - eight hours away.

I'm glad to know and I wish that I didn't.

And I especially wish that learning those locations didn't make it so abundantly clear that I care.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Party Planner

My friend Maria is getting married in August and, as I have mentioned, I am a featured bridesmaid in her Big Day.

Maria knew pretty early on that her rehearsal dinner would be on the Thursday night before her Saturday wedding. (I think that there is a Friday wedding at the church or something.) And her fiancé got his way and they’re having the rehearsal dinner at his favorite Chinese restaurant. Well, he almost got his way. Apparently, the first time that he ever took Maria to the restaurant (over 10 years ago), he told her that he wanted to have his wedding reception there. And that, my friends, is compromise.

Due to the Thursday rehearsal, Friday is an open day for all of Maria’s out of town wedding guests and, apparently, there are a lot of them. At the last family wedding where there were an abundance of out of town guests, they had a bunch of group activities and Maria’s dad just loved it. And that is how the Wedding Weekend Barbeque was born.

Initially, the Wedding Weekend Barbeque was supposed to be held at Maria’s little brother’s house. Let me be honest and just say that, the second it was mentioned, I thought it was a horrible idea. Expecting the bachelor brother and his bachelor roommates to host a party? And Maria’s parents are going to coordinate the food and the guests and whatnot the day before their daughter gets married? It sounded awful. Like an enormous ball of stress. And all I could picture was all of us sitting in a tiny yard (to be fair, I have no idea if his yard is tiny), surrounded by a bunch of concrete and eating warm potato salad off of a buffet table that was set up in a cluttered garage.

Truth: I am a snob.

But it was well meaning snobbery!

I immediately offered up my mom and dad’s house as an alternate location for the barbeque. It’s closer to the hotel where the out of towners are staying. Maria’s parents wouldn’t have to do anything but show up. There is a lake to swim in and decks to sit on and docks to fish from and kayaks to paddle in and it just made a little bit more sense to me. But Maria politely declined the offer and that was that.
I didn’t offer again until Maria’s mom broke her arm and, again, they passed on the offer.

But at least I asked. And at least I wouldn’t have to bother my mom with helping me host a giant party. I was fine with it. But I wasn’t going to eat warm potato salad off of the garage buffet. Hell no. I am not a potato salad fan.

Approximately 10 days ago, Maria sent me an email. So, about that barbeque. What if we did have it at your mom and dad’s house? Would that be okay?

And then I had five weeks to plan a big party for a bunch of people who I don’t know. For an unknown number of people who I don’t know. I am perfectly okay with it (I wouldn’t have offered if I wasn’t) and my mom is perfectly okay with it (she is a saint) and I know that it will turn out to be a nice party. But, oh my goodness, if Maria doesn’t give me some information soon I am going to have to strangle her. Like how many people will be there. Or if she wants me to send out invitations. Or if she wants this to be a daytime or an evening event.

Tonight, I’m meeting Maria up at my old office and we’re taking a little field trip to my mom and dad’s house so that she can get a feel for the lay of the land and maybe, MAYBE I can get a few answers out of her. My inner planner is straining to break free. I have cheesecakes to bake and freeze. I have invitations to design. I may even have a tent to rent.

And I definitely have to solicit my blog readers for ideas. Because you kids are always full of ideas. I’m pretty sure that you want to leave yours in the comments. Right? Right.

Components of the best barbeque ever: ready? Go.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Checking in

I’m busy.
I could more busy.
I want to be more busy. At my old part-time job. For money.
I’m baking tofu.
I am scrubbed clean and fresh out of the shower.
I am holding out hope.
I am a little teary, courtesy of Diane Sawyer reporting.
I’m scared.
I am confident that I can be better.
I’m in need of fresh polish on my toenails.
I am relieved.
I’m tired and dehydrated and that good achy that reminds you that you have muscles and that you used them.
I am looking at the calendar.
I’m smiling at the text messages that come to my phone.
I’m mad at myself.
I am preparing myself for change.
I’m making a menu.
I am going to unapologetically look at a local wedding photographer's blog before I go to bed tonight.
I am wide awake exhausted.
I am always adding and always subtracting and always wishing that I’m wrong.
I'm disappointed.
I am fit.
I'm anticipating tomorrow's sleepy, sore, morning drag from my bed.
I am always getting stronger.
I am forever wanting more, better, faster, smarter, better.

Friday, July 08, 2011

4/8 to 7/8

When I was driving to work this morning – squinting into the sunshine and drinking my coffee and flipping between irritating morning radio shows – I was thinking about Fridays, and how lovely it is that I get to start work an hour late on Friday mornings (9:30 instead of 8:30) but how brutal it is that, in turn, I have to stay at work an hour late. Working until 6:00 pm on a Friday is torture.

And, for no good reason, I remembered that I interviewed for my job on a Friday. A Friday completely unlike today: dark and rainy and cold and ugly.

It was April 8. Exactly three months ago.

April 8 was also the first day that The Coach put his words and his promises into action. When my predictions about him were proven wrong. When he turned out to not be all talk. When a fun, albeit slightly confusing, factor was added to my life and I became compelled to make sure that my kitchen was always impeccably clean. Because that sort of thing totally matters to boys.

Three months. Only took three months and so much feels different. I have more stamps in my passport. I worry about money to an extent that I hadn't before. I take yoga classes a few times a week now. I’m anxiously awaiting the births of three babies – none of whom I knew about, two of whom had yet to be conceived. I have much more free time but my schedule still feels cramped.

Life can change significantly in very, very short periods of time.

Exactly three months from now, I will be 29 years and 6 days old. I expect that I will be 8 days away from running my second half marathon. I suspect that I will still like mango black tea in the mornings. I want to feel a little more settled and secured in this new life that started on April 8.

I will be 29 years and 6 days old: and that is all I know for certain.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Reply for one

I just hastily filled out my reply card for Maria's wedding and, on my way to yoga class, I will drop it in the mailbox and it will be done.

The invitation has been sitting on my kitchen table for a few weeks now and, as of this morning, I am sick of looking at it. I will be at the wedding, of course, I am in the wedding and I will not have a date because I am not even asking a date. Because that's what you have when you're just with a guy for fun and casual: a reply card only for one and so be it.

I am making this choice. Admittedly, I am not always okay with it. There are instances when I feel like it's been too long since I've heard from The Coach and I want to pout and I want to panic and I have to reel myself in and remind myself of what this is and what this isn't and will away the tightness in my chest.

I have to fill out the RSVP. I have to go for a long run. I have to keep my feet firmly planted in reality. Or I have to stop.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Cousin Roommate: The Sequel?

As I was finishing up with last month’s bills, I took one look at my checkbook and nearly fell out. Apparently, trading in a poorly paying full-time job and a decent paying part-time job for a single poorly-paying-but-slightly-less-so full-time job means that you will no longer have any money to waste on dinner with friends, frivolous trips to Tim Horton’s, gifts for your best friend’s unborn child or new sports bras.

I am not okay with this. I am not okay with this because I am finally in the place that I’m supposed to be – in terms of my career, anyway – and I can’t even afford to be here. Not without another job. Or without completely sacrificing the rest of my life in order to work the job that I spent time/effort/energy/cash money in order to be qualified for. I hate this. This pisses me off. This makes me want to throw myself onto the floor and kick my legs and whine incessantly and throw a tantrum because I don’t want this. I don’t want to be an adult and I don’t want to worry about money all of the damn time and I want a pony and a cotton candy machine and also to be a princess.

With my current budget being so, so close to eating my entire salary, I obviously need to step it up and do something other than stare at my checkbook and cry. It seems like the easiest fixes to this problem would be to pick up another job – I could probably work for my aunt a bit and look around for a part-time position at another library (it’s just hard because I don’t have a completely set schedule here) – or change my housing situation. (I haven’t crunched numbers and it is probably still feasible, I can’t see how buying a house right could possibly be a good idea. I would be freaked out all the damn time.)

My cousin Liz is building a house and she’s asked me a few times if I would be interested in living with her. We haven’t had a serious conversation about it and I have never really pursued the opportunity because:

a. the house won’t be done for a few months and I’m stalling

b. I’m a little nervous because I used to live with my cousin Anna, which was fine (except that she always left her dirty dishes sitting around which is not cool ever, even if you're David Beckham) until the point where she decided to move to New York City on a whim to be close to her boyfriend (who dumped her a few months after she moved) and I was totally caught off guard, right in the middle of a semester, stressed out, looking for an apartment in the 30 seconds of free time I had per week and cleaning out the house that we rented because she was a slob and left all sorts of shit behind.

c. while the house would be closer to work and while I would love to cut all of my housing expenses, I like living alone.

I like that I only ever clean up my own messes. I like that I can leave my dirty clothes in the middle of the kitchen if I feel like it. I like that I can bake cookies at 5:45 in the morning and I’m not at risk of waking anyone up or making anyone consider committing me to a mental institution. I like that I can get home from work at 10:00 pm, eat a dinner consisting of ramen, string cheese and Peeps and go to bed without having to be pleasant to another human being.

d. Liz can be a bitch. Particularly to the people she loves and spends a lot of time with. Like her mother, for example. Or possibly to her sweet, fun, awesome, charming, beautiful, ideal roommate of a cousin. (That would be me.)

For the past few months that Liz has been asking if I wanted to live with her, I’ve been casually acting like I was considering the offer while not really considering it at all and, instead, doing things like redecorating my bathroom and buying new dishes and other things that one would not do if he or she was planning on moving into someone else’s house.

And now my checkbook says that I absolutely must consider this a little more seriously.

Pros: The house is going to be amazing and adorable and in what I am told is a really, really darling little neighborhood. I will have a shorter commute. Liz and I would have a lot of fun. It will free up a little bit of money in my very tight budget. I won’t be living in a tiny-ass apartment that I don’t particularly care for. I will have someone to borrow tampons from.

Cons: I will end up packing away my adorable new dishes because they won’t match Liz’s new kitchen. And I don’t even want to think about what I would do with all of my furniture. Liz’s dog is kind of an asshole. Limited opportunities to be the huge weirdo that I am without getting called out on it. Always at Liz’s mercy because she’ll be the one who actually owns the house and makes all of the decisions and I will just be the one who makes brownies on a regular basis. Roommate-plus-relative awkwardness when it comes to The Coach and/or other boys. (She totally make a joking “don’t you think you’re bringing random guys over” comment and that statement would have totally rolled off of my back 6 months ago and now I’m like “OMG, I’ve barely lived this lifestyle of poor choices and almost-certainly-will-be-broken hearts. Don’t make me give it up!”)

This pretty much all comes down to my new dishes and booty calls.

Can’t say that I don’t have priorities.

Monday, July 04, 2011

I hate Facebook

I hate Facebook because Meg just posted pictures from the holiday weekend and I am not in a single picture. Because I took them all.

Oh, no. I'm lying. I am in one picture and I am squinting because it was taken during the one five minute stretch of time during the entire day that I wasn't wearing my sunglasses. It is exceptionally unattractive and that brat obviously tagged me in it. Rude.

As the person who often finds herself behind the camera because I always feel like someone better step it up and take a few pictures to mark the occassion, I'm always a little annoyed when I look at pictures from an event and it appears that I wasn't even there.

I also hate Facebook because it gives me information that I don't want to know or don't need to know but doesn't give me all of the information, so I am left wondering or filling in the blanks or calling Lucy for the full story.

Or, depending on my mood and circumstances surrounding whatever tidbit of information I pulled off of The Facebook, I am compelled to feel joy or drop into a deep, dark depression because my imagination is very, very active and, oh you bet I can figure out exactly what's going on in your life and in your head because you changed your profile picture. Or make an assumption, anyway. Maybe freak out a little bit.

You know. Normal things.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Oh, hey!

I have been a little light on the blogging the last couple of days. It wasn't an intentional break; I got caught up in the gorgeous simplicity of my summertime.

I haven't been doing anything. I've been on the deck and in the sunshine. I've slathered on sunscreen and sprayed on sunscreen and slathered and sprayed on some more. I started a book that wasn't worth my time and started another that actually holds my interest. I baked a double batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, dropping them into the freezer for an August party that I'm already thinking too much about.

On Friday night, Meg and I celebrated her birthday with a movie and margaritas and dinner with our parents. I got to bed early for the first time in days and it felt superb.

Yesterday, I set my alarm early to go on a quick run before I went to work. Working on the Saturday of a holiday weekend sucks, but at least it was the right day. Saturday looks to be the most unpleasant weather of the weekend - it was so hot and muggy and sticky. We were busy, so the day went by quickly. But I left work pissed off at myself, pissed for making a stupid and avoidable mistake that I know that I will hear about later. I hate that. I loathe my imperfections. And I have such a hard time letting mistakes go.

Yoga class this morning helped me clear my head. Aided by the afternoon on the lake that followed soon after. My parents are getting ready for their big Independence Day/Meg's birthday celebration and, what I wanted - to sit, uninterrupted, in the perfect sunshine and devour my book - was slightly different than what I got. Which was a bit of reading and relaxing, spliced with the honor of being my mother's OMG-I'm-hosting-a-party-tomorrow-PANIC! elf. There was stringing of outdoor party lights. (Which looks fantastic, by the way.) The assistance with the fixing of the dock. (Not so fun.) The doing exactly what my mom asked me the second that she asked it because some things never change. And being a lazy ass around my mother? Not permitted. Never permitted. We jump on command around here, boys and girls. Especially when there's a party on the horizon.

Seems like everyone is out of town or at a wedding, so I guess I'll stay here tonight - at Mom and Dad's - and continue to be my mom's little party elf and watch the the fireworks over the lake and try to keep myself busy. Distracted. Doing something other than obsessively checking my phone for activity that isn't happening. And hating that I care.
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