Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Food is Love

My Tuesday night featured:

a. Making a German chocolate cake for my former boss. It is his birthday this week and all of my ex-coworkers wanted to surprise him during their Wednesday morning staff meeting with balloons, decorations, Tim Horton’s coffee, cake and his favorite employee in the history of the world: me. (I might be exaggerating about my place in his heart as his favorite all-time employee. But I also might not be.) (I also might have given him a framed picture of me, him and Meg as a birthday gift. The gift might have been a joke but it also might not be.)

b. Baking a lemon Bundt cake for my new boss. She’s quite the baker herself – the ‘brary has a huge staff and she makes a cake for nearly everyone’s birthday – but you can’t possibly make your own birthday cake. Such foolishness is not allowed. And when my coworkers said, “who will make her birthday cake this year?” I volunteered. Not knowing that her birthday fell on the same day that we were celebrating my old boss.

c. Mixing up a batch of cookies for a certain young man who I miss terribly and who is a little homesick and in serious need of sweet treats and a good book. (Both of which were boxed up and shipped across the country this morning.)

I am so transparent. If I have love in my heart, I will put food in your belly.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pinhead

Big announcement, you guys. Huge announcement.

Okay, maybe not.

Tiny, inconsequential announcement, but an announcement nonetheless: I am officially a Pinterest user.

I am very, very susceptible to hype. And I am obsessed with anything that can keep me organized. I was also in dire need of a new way to keep track of my endless list of books that I wanted to read and the books that I have already read.

Books are what you can see over here. In addition to recipes and pretty things and various other bits and baubles that are tumbling around inside my head.

But mostly books. Which is how it should be.

Monday, August 29, 2011

One year already

Weird weekend.

Just a really, really weird weekend. Filled with thoughts that started with “last year on this day at this time...”

My mom was in Florida.

I was hacking into my dad’s Facebook account.

Meg was blissfully ignorant.

Every time I talked to my mom on the phone, I kept saying “Dad’s acting weird. Dad’s acting really weird,” hoping that she’d get it. Hoping that she would understand what I was trying to say.

I was baking this same cake in this same kitchen for the same person. And my father was desperately trying to get me to leave.

I was still only suspicious.

And last year today was when I went back to the house and found those two chairs sitting side-by-side in the office and the notepad with the woman’s handwriting on the desk and – fuck, I’m not sure I will ever forget how that felt.

I would rather not remember.

I would rather not spend this fall reliving last fall.

I have enough on my mind without every day reminding me of last fall. I am sad and confused and worried enough. I am having a hard enough time without these memories. There is plenty for me to think about. I have enough current distractions diverting me; I don’t need the past to distract me further.

I lived through this once. I don’t need to live through this again.

Friday, August 26, 2011

They're hooked and they can't stop staring

When I was a freshman in high school, I played in a soccer tournament in Amsterdam. At this soccer tournament -- because it was a bunch of teams from a bunch of different countries and they wanted it to be special -- there was a skills challenge where one player from each team (selected by their coach) participated in a bunch of drills that were timed or otherwise quantified and scored.

I was my team’s representative. I have no idea how well I did or did not do. Which makes me fairly certain that I did not win. I would remember winning.

My mom was one of the chaperones at this tournament and she, as most mothers would, closely watched me compete in the skills contest.

Part of the competition required us to take penalty kicks. I remember that portion of the skills contest well. Bending over to place the ball before taking the kick. Wearing my red jersey and my white shorts.

Oh, those white shorts.

Never have I looked at white shorts the same way again.

Because, while walking out of the stadium that night, my mom turned to me and said “when you were taking the penalty kicks, there were two boys standing next to me talking about your BUTT.” And she attributed it to the white shorts.

The first known commentary on the junk in my trunk.



Random commentary on my not-huge-but-definitely-makes-its-presence-known backside continues to this day. Sometimes from my friends. Sometimes from my sister (who is also well-endowed in the bootie) or my mom (ditto) or my cousins (ditto). Sometimes from saleswomen. Sometimes from vulgar men in inappropriate places. And frequently – oh, so frequently – from a boy who I am rather fond of.

He’s an ass man.

And so I have heard – once or twice or 88 times – about how fabulous my backside is.

Therefore, since I have never had much of a problem with my butt, and since it has received more praise in the last four months than it has in the last 28 years: I am suddenly very aware of it.

I would like to say that it has made me more confident in my badonkadonk, but it has not. It has merely drawn my attention to it. And I think that I was happier when I didn't realize it was there.

My ass is perfectly fine. I know that. There are certain members of the opposite sex who appreciate it. I know that. There is a certain special member of the opposite sex who appreciates it and I know and appreciate that.

But I can't say that I see it and feel any sort of pride, awe or appreciation for what my momma gave me. (Sorry, Mom.)

My ass might have a fan club, but I am not a member.

Anybody else have a trait that they're often complimented on but absolutely cannot see what the big deal is or am I riding the crazy train all by myself?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Teary Thursday

I think that I’m going to cry now, if you don’t mind.

Is that okay?

I don’t want to make you uncomfortable.

But I would like to cry.

About anything.

I am not picky.

The runner’s knee that I had last fall is flaring up again, and it makes me want to cry.

Meg spilled water on her laptop and it won’t work. That makes me want to cry.

Two weeks ago, I said goodbye to The Coach. Remembering that day makes me want to cry.

Tomorrow, Lucy and Chet find out the gender of their baby. I want to cry.

My bank account makes me want to cry.

Working on Saturday – my mom’s birthday – makes me want to cry.

This anxiety that has settled into my chest makes me want to cry.

Looking at my calendar makes me want to cry.

My uncertainty about continuing to blog makes me want to cry.

Making a decision about where I’m going to live makes me want to cry.

My lack of motivation distresses me and makes me want to cry.

Thinking about how much I would like to cry makes me want to sob.

This is not how I want to live.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Wedding Date update

I met Maria and another girl who I used to work with for dinner yesterday.

I’ve been at my new job for three months now but I still pretty much love hearing all of the news and gossip from my old job. Also, they’re both really nice girls and it’s always great to catch up.

When we left the restaurant, Maria dragged me over to her car, saying “I have something for you!” while pulling out two enormous gift bags, and a half-dozen cupcakes, out of her back seat. “A present for you and a present for your family.”

“Maria! You can’t give me a present because I GAVE YOU A PRESENT!” I laughed. “That party was your wedding gift.” But of course I took the goodies anyway, after just enough protest to tease her.

Meg was over at Mom and Dad's house, so I made the 20 minute drive to the homestead to present the gift to my parents and the cupcakes to Meg.

And my mother was, of course, all "oh, she shouldn't have done this!" while opening her gift. And then she says – in front of Meg – “tell Maria that if this party lands Meg a husband, I am giving this back to her!”

Meg is still talking to Wedding Date quite frequently.

As a matter of fact, he was the main topic of conversation between Mom, Meg and a bunch of Mom’s friends on Friday, when the ladies got together for a day of lakeside relaxing. One of Mom’s friends insisted that Meg visit him as soon as possible. “We will get you a ticket with my frequent flyer miles and I will drop you off at the airport today!”

Everybody likes a cute story, right?

Especially my mother. This morning, she bought Meg a plane ticket so that she could visit Wedding Date next month.

Cute. Hilarious. Amusing. And – shit! – if I had known that my mother was so desperate to marry her girls off that she was financing plane tickets, I would’ve told her about The Coach months ago.

Monday, August 22, 2011

This is all very hypothetical

Colleen fell off the grid again.

I saw her once in May. I saw her once in June. She emailed me after I sent her a job posting in July, suggesting that we get together; I was all about that idea and told her so. She never responded.

I didn’t try again because I’m sick of trying again. Again and again and again. I’m sick of forcing her to be my friend. If she doesn’t want to see me, she doesn’t want to see me. I am not going to worry about it. I am not going to worry about her. I am not going to stay mad at her; holding a grudge takes too much energy. This is going to be exactly how she leaves it. I’m not cleaning up the mess.

It’s such a shame. Lucy is pregnant and she can’t even show her face. And I really, really could have used her – once one of my very best girlfriends – in the excruciating days between when The Coach took his job and when he finally moved out of town.

But she’s not that friend to me anymore and it’s probably silly that I continue to wish that she would snap out of it and revert to the friend who I loved so dearly.

Yet that is what I do. Continue to wish that my Colleen will return, though I am fairly certain that she will not. We get the mea culpa emails every so often – “I’ve been such a shitty friend and I know it” – and she shows her face once and disappears again. She’s not learning. She’s not changing. It’s pretty obvious that she doesn’t care whether I am or am not in her life.

Lucy still calls her every so often, so I get the occasional update.

Colleen claims that her boyfriend is proposing over Labor Day weekend. Although I’m not sure if I believe that it will actually happen (he’s promised a few outrageous things in the past): good for them.

Lucy and I think that it is pretty nice that we’ve been warned about this supposed impending proposal because we’ve been afforded the opportunity to properly prepare our reactions to the joyous news.

(You’re probably wondering why I think that I’m going to get a phone call about the big news despite spending almost no time with her over the last year. Simple: she doesn’t have any other friends.)

So, we’re preparing for The Call. Yes, of course we will congratulate her. Of course we will be happy for her.

We’re both living in fear that she’s going to ask us to stand up in the wedding. And will expect us to throw a shower and a bachelorette party and participate in every traditional wedding activity even though she can’t even return an email, let alone spend five minutes of time with us.

Since Colleen has no siblings and no other friends, if she decides to have bridesmaids in this wedding that is only hypothetical at this point, she will ask me to be one of them.

And if she asks me to be a bridesmaid I would say yes, of course. (I am a professional bridesmaid; I have been a bridesmaid for a girl who I wasn’t even friends with. How could I say no to someone who I was formerly very close friends with?) But I feel so WRONG even considering agreeing to be in her (hypothetical) wedding because she’s been such a shitty friend for an entire year.

I hope we don’t get to that point. I hope she doesn’t even ask me because I don’t want to deal with it.

But if she does, I will say yes. I will say yes for the girl who she used to be. For the friend who she was. And I think that I will tell her just that.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Going with my gut (is probably wrong)

This probably isn't allowed.

There are rules about this, right? Rules about everything?

How I'm supposed to act. How I'm supposed to feel. The expectations that I shouldn't have. And the hope. Never, never hope.

I know that I'm supposed to be doing this a certain way.

To be playing this game correctly.

With something other than my heart.

And my instincts.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Teammates and Fundraisers

Poor Coach Meg.

She coaches a team of teenage girls who bring her nothing but drama and headaches and controversy and a ton of joy.

Meg loves to bitch about what a pain in the ass the girls are, but she loves each and every one of them so dearly.

She just called, all bummed out, to tell me that one of the girls who she has coached for the last several years is dropping off of the team because she can’t afford to play.

Her dad died last year. He loved the sport. Her parents were divorced and he was the parent who paid her sports bills and drove her to games and to practices. When he suddenly passed away, her mom refused to contribute and she nearly had to quit; the team found enough donors to cover her for the rest of the season.

So, the team is back to soliciting donations and organizing fundraisers and trying to find a way to pull together the money they need so that their teammate can continue to be their teammate. It’s sweet. The girls are sweet. It is refreshing to see a group of kids – are you ever so self-centered as you are as a teen? – stepping it up for one of their friends.

Any of you guys come across any fun, unique, not lame fundraisers that would appeal to teenage girls lately? A Facebook-a-thon, perhaps? Meg’s girls are all about raising the money, they’re just a little repulsed by the idea of selling cookie dough.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

So Midwestern, So in the Kitchen: July

July wasn't a great month in the kitchen.

I was consumed with worry about a certain boy and his fancy new job and his big move; it left me pretty disinterested in cooking. And eating.

I was also planning a party.

But I didn't slack off entirely. Here's what I've got for you.



Left: 10-Minute Shrimp and Tortilla Soup I thought I would love this, but I only liked it. I can't recahttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifll what it was, but it seemed to be too heavy in something. Cilantro, maybe?

Middle: Rosemary Potato Pizza I made this pizza right in the midst of everything that was going on with The Coach. I wasn't eating much of anything, but I like to stick to my resolutions and I had some rosemary that needed to be used up and - please correct me if I'm wrong - but don't carbohydrates mend broken hearts? I made this pizza and I liked the flavor. And the carbs. I should probably try this recipe again when I'm not sitting at the bottom of a deep well of self-pity.

Right: Pasta Shells with No-Cook Tomato Sauce I swiped the July/August edition of Everyday Food from my mother so that I could make this recipe. I wanted to make this recipe because of the ricotta plopped on top. I love ricotta. And tomatoes. And pasta. This recipe was so fresh and summery and a winner. Yay.



Left: Ginger snaps - from my mom's recipe - baked and frozen for the big pre-wedding party. We had some of these left and threw them back in the freezer and I took a pair out and ate them in bed last Sunday, dunking them into my coffee, and it was most blissful two minutes of my day.

Middle: Brown sugar fruit dip. I made this a few months ago for a party at Lucy's house and she l-l-l-loved it. So, when she asked me to bring fruit to a barbeque she was having in July, I happily labored over my mixer for an excruciating 5 minutes so the pregnant girl could dip her heart out. And so the pregnant girl's best friend could do the same.

Right: Peanut butter cookies - also from my mom's recipe - also baked up and dropped in the freezer for the big pre-wedding party.

And that was my July. Okay, but not great. Where I really suffered was at lunch, when I didn't have anything quick and tasty to pack up and spent 10 minutes every morning peering into my refrigerator and hoping that a suitable meal would present itself. (It never did.) Good thing I wasn't much into eating.

That lunchtime annoyance has carried itself into August. I really need to get my shit together on that front. There are few things worse than opening a lunch bag and seeing a half-assed meal.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Thinking about endings

I don’t know how to write this without sounding like I’m begging for attention.

Believe me when I tell you that I’m not.

This just happens to be what is stuck in my head. I don’t do well writing about alternative topics when I have a more pressing matter weighing on me. When I’m not writing about what’s on my mind, writing is painful. That’s why I’ve always assumed that writing a book would be an impossible task – I can’t force it.

I also ramble a lot when I’m trying to get to a point. Which is what I am doing now. Trying to get to a point.

Oh, look! Here it is. The point.

I’ve been having this weird, weird feeling about blogging.

Like maybe I shouldn’t be doing it anymore.

This feeling has grown gradually over the last few months. It started when I couldn’t write about The Coach – remember when he was around but I couldn’t find the words to tell you about him? When I wanted to keep him all to myself? – and then I got freaked out and pulled all of those posts (for, um, a grand total of 20 minutes) and now I find myself holding back just a little. Just enough that I feel like I’m not writing what I want to write and if I can’t write what I want to write – what’s at the tip of my fingers – perhaps I shouldn’t write at all. Or maybe I’m best off retreating away from the internet with a pen and a paper.

I can’t believe I’m even considering this.

I’ve been blogging for so long. So consistently. And it’s been so good for me. But I can’t shake this nagging feeling. That perhaps this has run its course. That maybe I’m telling stories that aren’t mine to tell. That I need to protect my love ones more and write less.

I don’t know where this is coming from.

I’m not doing anything. I’m not making any decisions. I’m just putting it out there because that’s what I do: I think about things and then I blog about the things that I think about.

I would miss it. I know that I would miss it.

I’m just not sure that’s enough of a reason.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The infamous party, part 3

The party, I thought, was lovely.

It’s hard for me to gauge, of course, because I spent a lot of it fetching drinks and refilling the cookie trays and answering the door.

But, based on the very, very kind words of so many of the 50+ who passed through that Friday night, it was a good party.

And also based on the inclusion of Jello shots. A party clearly cannot be a party without Jello shots.*

The only aspect of the party that wasn’t, in my opinion, entirely successful? The guests of honor.

The party started at 6:00 pm.

The bride arrived at 8:30 pm.

The groom arrived at 9:00 pm.

I know that they were really, really busy. I know that they had decorated the reception hall and had to go to the bank so they had tip money for vendors. I know they had a thousand other things going on – a thousand and one. I know it. But over two hours late? For your own party?

Yeah.

I didn’t love that.

But it appears that, in my old age, I am either becoming more forgiving or I am becoming too lazy to hold a grudge.

Because, while my blood pressure shot up when Maria sent me a text message suggesting that she would be 90 minutes late (little did I know that it would be another hour after that until she actually showed up), I couldn’t sustain my irritation. I couldn’t be pissed off about it.

Even though it was a little rude.

Or maybe a lot rude. I don’t know. It doesn’t matter now, anyway.



*I am, of course, kidding. I have attended many successful parties that do not have Jello shots. They were a last minute addition to the menu at the request of our party helpers, Meg and Emma. (Who clearly wanted those delicacies for themselves.)

While I knew that they’d be a hit with the groomsmen, I pre-approved with the bride, because she was a little concerned about the trouble that the groom and his buddies were going to get in on the night before their wedding.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Inventory

Items consumed in bed over the course of the weekend:
One (1) bowl of popcorn
One (1) bowl of broccoli
Three (3) cups of coffee
Two (2) ginger snaps
One (1) small bowl of chips - minus one chip for Ellie and one chip for Blue - with salsa
One (1) turkey sandwich with mustard and cheddar cheese
Two (2) pieces of toast, slathered in butter and lavender-vanilla sugar and cooked under the broiler
Three (3) generous cups of water

Comfort food not consumed in bed over the course of the weekend:
One (1) enormous bowl of matzah ball soup
Two (2) Häagen-Dazs vanilla milk chocolate almond ice cream bars

While my lists may suggest otherwise, it was a solid weekend. Exactly the weekend that I needed. Time with my best friend. Time alone. Time to read an entire book. Time to think about The Coach's departure but not cry about The Coach's departure. And not panic. And not fear it. And not worry about how it will all work out. Time to let it all soak in, uninterrupted.

Tomorrow, my life without The Coach begins. Tomorrow, I'll find solace in establishing a routine. Tomorrow, I will begin my climb my way back to busy - crazy, crazy, busy. So busy that the days pass by quickly and effortlessly.

Because that's the goal.

To get to Thanksgiving. As soon as possible. And without eating any more turkey sandwiches in bed.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Counting

In 19 days, I will bring a cake to my old job to celebrate the birthday of my old boss. I promised.

The first game of the UM football season is in 22 days.

In one month, I will travel to Chicago for Mara’s baby shower.

Her builders estimate that Liz’s house will be done in 40 days. (Whether I’ll be
living in that house is another matter entirely.)

My hockey season starts in 6 weeks.

My birthday is in 51 days.

There is a 10k that I have my heart set on running that takes place in 57 days.

Lucy and I have tickets to a concert in 61 days.

In 9 weeks and 5 days, it is my dad’s birthday. And I will be running my next half marathon.

I will need a Halloween costume sometime in the next 80 days.

Mara's baby is due in 87 days.

I will throw Lucy a baby shower sometime in the next 104 days. I will pick out a venue and make invitations and mull over details and chart RSVPs and track which gifts came from which guests in a little notebook. All within the next 104 days.

Thanksgiving is in 15 weeks.

15 weeks.

It has been mere hours since The Coach and I said goodbye.

It has been mere minutes since he drove the first mile of nearly 2,000.

It has been one minute since I last looked at the calendar.

And it will be one minute until I look at it again.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

What a difference a year makes

My mom and Meg are in California, visiting Meg’s friend who is in the Navy and about to be deployed.

Meg’s friend’s mom happens to be one of my mom’s best friends/coworkers. They’ve worked together for years and years and they always marveled at how similar their daughters – who are exactly the same age – sounded.

They attended the same college so, just before the girls went off for their freshman year of school, the moms and daughters all got together for dinner, their similarities were confirmed, their friendship was formed and the rest is history.

But that isn’t what this is about.

This is about my father. At home by himself. While my mother is on vacation.

If you were reading my blog around this time last year, I probably don’t have to tell you that this stirs up some bad, bad memories that are never that far from the surface. Memories that start with a Friday night when my mom was on vacation and I got suspicious.

Last night, he sent me a text message: Wanna come over for dinner?

I couldn’t. Working until 9:00 pm cramps my style.

He responded: That’s okay.

A few hours later: Tomorrow?

Yes, Dad. Tomorrow. Tomorrow we will have dinner together because you are obviously a little lonely and because I am so, so grateful that we’ve made it back this far. To what feels like normal. Or damn close to normal, anyway.

The infamous party, part 2

My favorite part about the party (and my favorite part about every party) was the desserts. Who doesn’t love desserts? Who doesn’t love an entire table stuffed full of desserts?


Exactly.

So that’s why we went with a whole table full of desserts.


For the purpose of convenience and maintaining sanity and variety, we made cookies and cookies and more cookies. It was easy. (Most cookies freeze well.) And then guests had free reign to take what they thought looked good, nibbling to their heart’s content. It’s also something to talk about. Awkward conversation with another guest? Ask them if they’ve seen the cookie buffet. Ask them what they liked the best.

I made oatmeal chocolate chip pecan cookies, peanut butter cookies, ginger snaps and the sugar cookies in the shape of a block M (the groom and I went to the same college – 25 years apart) and frosted in maize and blue. My grandma offered to make a few different bar cookies, because she is a saint. And Mom and Meg made some variations on the brownie, lemon bars and, oh, I don’t even remember. Cousin Emma made Rice Krispie Treats. They’re her specialty. I swear Emma’s taste better than any other Rice Krispie Treats.

We considered making a bunch of different cheesecakes (which also freeze well) in lieu of the cookie buffet, but considering the casualness of the party, the menu, our available freezer space and the fact that I can’t make a cheesecake without cracking the top of it to save my life, I think that we made the right choice.

Also, a good number of those leftover cookies may have been popped right back into the freezer to be enjoyed in my lunch for weeks to come. Or sitting on the floor, while drinking tea, watching soccer and sniffling over a boy. Which is exactly how I had my ginger snaps last night.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The infamous party, part 1

I couldn't have pulled off Maria's pre-wedding fiesta without a lot of help.

There's no denying that I have been in a dense fog the last few weeks. Planning a party for 50 was not a task that I felt particularly up for, but somehow it all got done.

Somehow meaning my mom worked her ass off, Meg worked her ass off and my cousin Emma worked her ass off. I can't thank them enough.

While I spent Thursday at work and at the rehearsal dinner, they spent Thursday printing signs and cleaning off the deck and raking the beach and stringing outdoor lights.

They liked it. They all like planning a party -- especially Emma, who remarked to my mom "this is so fun. This reminds me of doing crafts before a party with my mom"-- but what they did was absolutely above and beyond anything that I could ever expect from them. I am so grateful.



I found a cute set of printables at the Hostess Blog. They were technically supposed to be for an Independence Day party but, since we were already going with primary colors, they worked out without looking like we bought everything on clearance on July 5.



We did fruit and fruit dip and veggies and veggie dips.

As I mentioned before, we did a sandwich bar instead of a barbecue. It just seemed a little bit easier: less worrying about what to cook, when to cook it, how much to make, keeping it warm, running in between the house and the deck, etc.

So we took the easy route.



And bought (and labeled) a lot of bread.



And a lot of meat. And a lot of really, really good chips in a variety of flavors.

If you look to the far left of the picture, you can see the cute little recipe cards that Emma made. They were suggested sandwich combinations that she printed out, glued to wooden skewers and stuck in a slice of watermelon. Super cute.



Drinks were set up on the deck. My aunt has a margarita machine that we borrowed. I made a killer sangria. And there was the standard water, beer, wine, etc.



Meg and Anna insisted on making the drink umbrellas that came as part of the printable suite. Adorable.



While this welcome sign normally sits out on the deck, the bottle of margarita mix does not. Nor did it sit there for long after I snapped this picture, I imagine. We went through a lot of margarita mix.

Anna was our little bartender. She was happy to run that margarita machine and refill the sangria and pull beers from the cooler and -- once it got late -- pass out the Jello shots that she and Meg insisted we make part of our menu.



Our little Ellie (above) and Blue spent the night at Grandma's house so that they wouldn't be underfoot, but I just I couldn't resist including this picture of E. This is how she spends hours upon hours in the summertime: wet and smelly, perched on the shore and mesmerized by the lake and all of its ducks and swans and turtles and fish. She's so cute

While I am certain that you are all endlessly fascinated by a party that you didn't attend, held in honor of a couple who you don't know, I am going to break this into two parts. Next up: the dessert table (who doesn't like dessert?) and why I sort of wanted to strangle the guests of honor.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Wedding snapshots

Just a couple of pictures from the wedding that I snagged from Facebook.


A very greasy bridesmaid and my little Meg - the surprise wedding guest.


You know that it's the end of the night when a bridesmaid faceplants onto the dance floor when posing for a picture. I'm on the right, furiously capturing the moment on my iPhone. And that's Meg's man coming to her rescue.

More pictures later. Cannot wait to recap a very, very successful pre-wedding fiesta of fun.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

The wedding date

At the pre-wedding fiesta on Friday night, I overheard one of Maria's cousins talking to somebody and I knew I was on to something.

I marched up to Meg. "See him? Introduce yourself to him. He is your male equivalent."

He was unquestionably cute. And he seemed warm and funny and - from what I had gathered from his conversation - exactly like Meg.

And that's how Meg went from helping out at Maria's party to spending the rest of the night out on the deck chatting with this guy to attending Maria's wedding.

Seriously.

It's such a Meg situation, too. Of course she would meet a guy on Friday and be his date to a family wedding on Saturday. That's just how she lives her life. Carefree.

Meg and the cousin were the amusement of the wedding party. Maria was so, so insistent that Meg take the extra place at her cousin's table. And, when Maria and her cousin and her maid of honor drove back to the hotel on Friday night, Meg was all they talked about. Maria was just too pleased with her matchmaking skills and she nearly combusted when she caught sight of Meg perching atop his lap as a group crowded in to take a picture.

While just a silly distraction from all of our wedding events, it's been amusing to watch them together. Amusing and - for only me - a little disheartening, knowing two facts about the cousin that hit really, really close to home.

He's a sports coach.
And he lives out of state.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

This happened

I am walking through the stacks when I come across a hotel key card. I pick it up. I bring it to my coworker.

Except I don’t just bring it to my coworker. I practically prance to his desk, smiling and waving it over my head and generally acting like the jackass that I am.

“I HAVE A GIFT JUST FOR YOU!” I announce, thrusting the key card in his direction.

He looks at it.

He looks up at me.

He is clearly horrified.

And I am just standing there, like a fool.

Until I realize.

What.

Exactly.

He.

Thinks.

That.

Card.

Means.

And then I drop the card onto the desk and hop between my feet and shake my head violently. “Left card. Found! Found on the ground! This isn’t! Ahhh! No! Not! Noooooooooo! Not a proposition! Not an indecent proposal! Not what it looks like! NOT AT ALL WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE!”

And now I need a new job.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

I like, but do not need, safe

8:30 am. Wednesday. I am at yoga class because I don’t really feel like running, because I have credits on my account to use, because I have tension for prayer twist to wring out of my back.

I am taking a slow flow class.

I almost always take slow flow classes. I beat myself up enough running and playing soccer. Slow flow yoga gives me what I need, which isn’t so much to feel like I just had an intense workout but more to feel like I’m back to my baseline normal. Where my tight shoulders aren’t creeping up around my ears and my hip flexors aren’t screaming at me.

It’s just personal preference. That's what I tell myself.

I hate to admit it – but it is also a touch of laziness. Because I don’t have to work as hard. And I don’t have to pay such close attention. Because I will never be the weakest or the most inexperienced in the class. Because it is safe and I like safe.

At 8:32, I realize that my slow flow class is not a slow flow class. It is a standard vinyasa class. And there is no escaping. (Believe me, I considered it.)

But maybe I could feign an injury? (This was also strongly, but briefly, considered.)

Or I could take to heart what every yoga instructor I’ve ever had has repeated over and over and over again: do my best, make modifications when necessary, listen to my body.

And check my damn ego at the door.

Which is what I did. And what I should have done. Because the only intimidating part of the class was the label that the instructor slapped on it.

It was a good reminder of how often I hide behind what is safe and how easily I am scared away by the idea of something before I ever truly give it a chance. It was a good lesson to learn. And it was a good class.

I think I’ll go again next Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Done

I can’t do this anymore. I can’t care that The Coach is leaving.

I am:
Ruining my appetite.
Making myself crazy.
Pissed.
Wasting my youth.
Holding out for someone I will never have.
All cried out.
Strong.
Wasting my time.
Not a convenience.
Selling myself short.
Over this silly fantasy.
Not waiting.
Better than this.
More than a booty call.
Too smart.
Done being patient.
Extraordinary.
Proud.
Not a mere convenience.
Happy it happened.
Sad it must end.
Content.
Tired.
Over it.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Weekend Warrior

It was a busy weekend.

I needed it to be a busy weekend.

Because now I’m back in the routine of the workweek – Monday, again – and it isn’t going so well.

I’m full of toxic thoughts and I am overwhelmed and sad and I kind of just want to cry on my mom’s shoulder about a very large variety of issues, including The Coach, every mistake I’ve made over the last 8 years, money and why I do not have an endless supply of it, Maria’s pre-wedding party and the bruise on the inside of my knee.

But my parents are on a little vacation so crying on my mom’s shoulder is not currently an option. I’m also two months out from turning 29 and should probably be past expecting my mother to solve my problems. I just need to shut up and suck it up.

Anyway. The weekend.

Friday night: dinner with Lucy, Chet and one of Chet’s friends. I wasn’t very hungry and I wasn’t very into it. I haven’t been great company lately.

Saturday: Meg and I spent the day on the lake, chilling with the dogs. I bounced between mundane chores to get ready for Friday’s big pre-wedding fiesta of fun and laying out on the deck, reading back issues of Cosmo and attempting to even out my weird tan lines.

I don’t have a strapless bikini. I was borrowing the top of one of Meg’s with the hope that I could make it a little less apparent that every swimsuit I own is a halter. Which was lovely and I think that I am now an even shade of pale, pale beige (as opposed to my natural color of blinding white). And we had the extra entertainment that was my falling out of that ill fitting strapless bikini top on two occasions. Classy.

Late on Saturday afternoon, Meg and I ran a 5k. It was one of those get-down-and-dirty obstacle course type of races that are all the rage. So, we ran through waist-deep water and climbed over walls and ducked under barbed wire and had a great deal of fun. I’m pretty sure that the race entry fee was ridiculous, and I’m pretty sure that the picture of us covered in mud from head to toe made it totally, totally worth it.

We saw our cousin Liz on Saturday night. She took us by the house that she’s building (I am increasingly considering moving in with her) and we saw a movie. When we were dropping off Liz and hugging goodbye, she says to me “let’s do that French kiss.”

Ahem.

She meant a double kiss to the cheeks. No tongue. The miscommunication had us in stitches. And, for the record, there was no cousin-on-cousin makeout.

We got back to the house late. I consumed an obscene amount of bread and fell into a deep carbohydrate coma.

I’m considering carb loading before bed every night. Damn, that was a good sleep.

Sunday: well, maybe I’ll write about Sunday later. This is long enough and boring enough and rambling enough.

Not even boobs or mud or awkward makeout proposals could save this post.

I am boring and crabby.

It’s a winning combination.
 
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