Thursday, July 31, 2014

Chicken

All this week, I have been playing chicken with the eHarmony homepage.

I keep staring at it. Because that's as far as I can get.

And I feel like a lunatic for it.

I promised a smart and wonderful friend/life adviser/personal cheerleader that this week was going to be The Week and there's still time. This week can still be The Week. I just need my eyes to stop welling up with tears every time I get to the eHarmony homepage and am expected to click on something and proceed...like a normal person.

This shouldn't be this hard. I shouldn't be this scared. I can answer a few questions. I can write about myself. I've kept a damn blog for almost 10 years. Of course I can write about myself. Picking out a few pictures won't be so bad. I have pictures. Mostly dressed in obnoxiously patriotic garb or cuddling with a pie, but I have pictures.

What I don't have, clearly, is a fucking spine. Because anyone with a spine would call off the staring contest and click the damn link because this action doesn't commit me to anything or anyone. Or even a charge to my credit card. It's a click. One click to other clicks to however much or as little as I want. I am in control.

I just don't feel like I am. 

I have such a hard time getting out of my own damn way.

I'm not really that great at being a person.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Diagnosis

I've been worrying about my hearing.

(Because just worrying about my knee wasn't enough.)

Late last night, it had crossed my mind that I wasn't hearing well. I missed a few phone calls. I always hear my phone! And then I was at the Jay-Z/Beyoncé concert. (If you're going to lose your hearing, do it while dancing to Partition.) The next morning, Meg and I were walking down the street and I was on a call with my mother. I had a really hard time hearing her.

While trying to follow the conversation with my mom, I diagnosed my hearing loss. My grandma was quite young when she had significant hearing impairment and I would likely be the same. All of the signs were there and I should probably start a hearing aid fund. 

I didn't mention it to anyone. I spent a few days being hyper aware of what I could and could not hear.

Until I realized that both the ringer and the call volume on my phone were turned down really, really low. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

A few thoughts on Chicago

If I wanted to go on a Tinder date, I would join Tinder.

Meg and I spent Thursday night on Liz's Tinder date.

He was: old, not as fun as advertised, clearly going through a midlife crisis, wearing tight flared white pants, the father of a kid who is in college, weird about consuming carbohydrates, nice enough, not who I wanted to be hanging out with.

I spent Thursday and half of Friday quietly simmering about how this all went down. That's what I did in Chicago. Felt annoyed. Waited around for Liz and this dude. Ate a few meals. Had a few drinks. Walked. Worshiped at the altar of Beyoncé. Danced.*

It wasn't that we had a bad time, it's just that we didn't get the trip we wanted. We got Liz's Tinder date. We got to be the third (and fourth) wheel on Liz's Tinder date.

Meg, my frustratingly self-centered little sister, wasn't as bothered by Liz's shenanigans as I was. Which only annoyed me more.

Am I that much of a control freak? It is just that Meg lets me expend the energy being annoyed so that she doesn't have to? Or that she lets me be the bad guy? Maybe it's because Meg (who is a lot like Liz) knows that the Tinder date is something she would pull, too. Maybe I'm just no fun. Maybe I'm secretly jealous of Liz's epic sex weekend with a stranger. Maybe I'm just extra irritated because I did all of the work (I ALWAYS DO ALL OF THE WORK) to plan for a trip that went down in flames.

I think it's time that I take a little break from being everyone's cruise director.

And maybe take a closer look at who I choose to spend my time with, too.


*While I am complaining, I would also like to address the issue of dancing. Approximately halfway through the concert, I realized that my bum knee was not up to dancing. Then I continued to dance. I paid for it the next day. This is 30.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

It's a familiar theme

If you've been reading my blog for any stretch of time, you've probably caught on to this little secret: I really (really really really really) like dresses.

Despite promising myself that I would reel in my spending -- so much house stuff, so much Brazilian vacation, so expensive -- this week has been a two dress week.

First, I accidentally saw that Boden had the dress I had been coveting as the quintessential Kentucky Derby dress on super sale. And then I accidentally bought it.


I'm not even 100% sure that Lucy and I are going to the Derby next year but you can't even tell me that dress wouldn't go perfect with a gloriously enormous Derby hat.

Shortly thereafter, my quick lunchtime shopping trip to buy face wash turned into trying on dresses for my cousin Anna's September wedding which turned into buying a dress for Anna's wedding.


I already own the perfect, timeless, had-it-for-at-least-5-years-and-will-have-it-for-at-least-10-more little black dress and I planned to wear that to Anna's wedding but this Vera Wang number practically jumped off of the rack and into my hands. 

There's no crime in owning two perfect LBDs! 

Plus it was an amazing deal.

Plus I texted a picture to my mother and she approved. 

Plus it matched the tape I have on my bum knee.  

And sometimes, you just can't question fate. Lunchtime shopping, impulse buy fate.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Routine (Or Lack Thereof)

I am good at working out. I am also good at making my bed.

I realize that this isn't the case for everyone but, for me, both come automatically. Like taking a shower. Not optional. Just things that you must do. And so I do ‘em.

Except lately.

Did you know: I got an email from my gym that was like “HI, WHERE ARE YOU?” And I thought back and realized that I was receiving an email from my gym because I hadn't been there in a month. A month. A whole month.

(Now I’m thinking about how much I pay for a month at my overpriced gym and I want to cry a little bit.)

Normal summertime workouts are always the easiest for me to skip. Because I am busy with soccer (which is exercise, yes, but I don’t pay my gym membership to get my only exercise playing soccer) and doing after work things that I don’t bother to do in the fall/spring/winter when it isn't light out until 9:00 pm.

But this isn't even a normal summer. I was on vacation for, like, a really long time. (I wish that it was longer.) And then I moved. So to have lost an entire month of gym time and, upon my return to the gym, struggled with a really short run isn't all that shocking but IT SUCKS.

Getting back into a routine is the worst.

And then there’s the knee. What awesome timing, knee. I’m just ready to jump back into a reasonable routine and now this. Cool. It has been a week and is definitely injured. No question. The extent of my injury? Unknown. My physical therapist sister managed to stop being selfish and difficult long enough to look at it on Sunday and said it doesn't seem “too super loose,” so I hope that’s a good sign but I made a doctor’s appointment. ...which isn't until August 14.

I ended up bracing up and trying to play soccer this week because I couldn't stand to miss a game. I managed to get through it without too much trouble or excruciating pain so I probably can’t use my knee as an excuse to for anything other than to take it sort of easy.

Just not too easy. Like not doing anything at all, for example. That needs to stop.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Bad Auntie

I've only been in my condo for two weeks, but my BFF Lucy and I have already settled into a nice little routine. On Thursdays, she picks up her boys from daycare and heads to the beach. I leave work (a little early, shhhh) and meet them at the water. We splash and dig and play for a little while before grabbing dinner.

One week, we had Thai at a restaurant that's right on the lake. This past Thursday, I picked up pizza and we feasted at my condo.

It was lovely and convenient and also, I am a horrible aunt and have basically nothing but a random stuffed animal and a deflated soccer ball for the boys to play with. And not a single plastic cup or paper plate for the little dudes to eat off of.

And did I mention that I don't have a dining room table yet? Because I don't.

It was a grand adventure and I loved every second and every greasy pizza hand print on my door. I thought that I would care or worry more about the kids trashing the place but? They're kids. Spill all you want, guys. Spray my perfume to your heart's content! I promise to stock up on toys by the next time you visit. And wait until you see your special plates with pirate ships on them!

The best part of Thursday night was when Baby A, who is working on potty training, rushed out onto my balcony because he heard the ice cream truck. He was so excited about the ice cream truck that he peed his pants right there. On the balcony. A huge puddle. That then dripped down onto my car.

I promise not to tell all of his girlfriends if he promises not to tell anyone about my miserable toyless existence.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Big Mouth

Mom helped my sister, Meg, with a few things around her house on Thursday night. And then she complained bitterly about helping my sister out with a few things around her house. Basically, Meg does things the way Meg wants to do them (the fast way) and then gets annoyed when my mom insists on doing things another way (the "right" way, according to mother) and then they both want to scream.

Whereas when Mom helps me out with stuff around my house (which she's been doing a lot the last two weeks), I just do exactly what she tells me to do because I don't know/am not motivated to figure out an alternative way.

So, yesterday, my mom told me about her frustrating afternoon with Meg and we laughed about it because it's all just so typical. Meg and my mother: so smart and so stubborn and butting heads.

This morning, I was having coffee with my mom when Meg called. Meg said to me "don't tell, but when Mom helps me out with things around the house, I want to kill myself" while, at the same time, my mom was bitching about Meg. I thought it was funny and I assumed that Mom would also think that it was funny so then I told her anyway. Right when Meg was on the phone.

Mom didn't think it was funny.

Oops.

It probably didn't help that Meg got all bratty about a bed my parents were giving to me for my guest room (she wanted it, too) and that she refused to help with the floor to my entryway and that she still hasn't made the time to see my condo.

I believe that the word "selfish" was dropped in my mother's subsequent rant.

Not entirely untrue.

And still I feel terribly guilty for ratting her out to my mom and desperate to fix the (relatively minor) rift between them.

Having a sister is complicated.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Paranoid

One of my all-time greatest fears is blowing out my knee. Knee injuries, specifically ACL tears, are really common in female soccer players and I've played a lot of soccer in the last 25 years.

The fear didn't come from a rational place. My knees have been, for the most part, perfectly fine. My ankles are a mess and my back has always been an issue but my knees have been reliable. I appreciate them for that.

I like my knees and I like that they work. I don't like the idea of surgery. Or not being able to work out. Or a big, bulky, hinged brace. So I'm paranoid.

A year or two ago, I was vocalizing my irrational fear of tearing a ligament in one of my knees and my sister, who is a physical therapist, shushed me. "If you were going to blow out your knee, you would have done it already." That was a comforting piece of information. I was still scared of knee injuries but less paralyzed by the fear. I had always assumed that, because I am a female and because I am a soccer player, it would only be a matter of time; now I could focus my fears on a random misfortune. It could still happen, but it wasn't guaranteed. Not an accident waiting to happen. Just an injury as a result of a bad turn or an unlucky collision or just plain shitty luck.

So guess what happened in my soccer game yesterday?

An unlucky collision and shitty luck.

I don't know what I did, exactly, but I did something. I got my knee tangled up with another girl's knee and I heard a pop and, yeah, I don't think that this is good. I don't know that it's bad. I could just be paranoid. Meg is very nonchalant about the whole thing. "Probably your MCL. You could see a doctor to find out if it's torn. But that doesn't even matter if you're not planning on getting surgery."

It hasn't even been 24 hours. I hope I'm just being wimpy/nervous/hypersensitive. A small injury would be okay. I can deal with that. I can rehab that. But surgery? I can't do surgery. I can't be out that long. I can't do that.

Like I said: wimpy/nervous/hypersensitive.

And giving it some time to determine if making a doctor's appointment is necessary.

Dragging my leg along behind me in the meantime.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A few from Brazil -- USA/Germany

The best game we attended at the World Cup was USA/Germany. There is absolutely no question. There is something about being an American fan in a foreign country, a huge underdog in a game, all decked out in red, white and blue. It's embracing every ridiculous American stereotype. It's knowing that your team is probably not going to beat Germany and definitely not going to win the World Cup, but being willing to march to the stadium in a downpour anyway.

Meg and I have done the USA games in South Africa (twice!), Chicago and Columbus in 2012 and 2013. But this time around in Brazil is the most fun I've ever had at a sporting event.  

I look forward to topping that in Russia in 2018. ...and maybe at a few other matches in between. Four years is a long time to wait for my next World Cup!

We traveled to the game (and the pregame bar) with a group from our hotel. 

Waiting at the Metro station, acting like idiots. (This is not a picture of C.) 


Apparently nobody sent me the memo that instructed me to wear my tattoo on my right cheek.

Mugging for the camera on the Metro. It was the last part of the day where we were even moderately dry. 

By the time we got to the bar, we were soaking. There was nothing to do but class up the place.
Meg led us in classing it up.

And then, after C and I bought the fifth of Jack Daniels, she led is in classing it up some more. 

We passed around that fifth on our march to the stadium as we got more soaked and more drunk.

We brought a banner for our favorite goalkeeper. 

If you squint, you can see the downpour. Maybe.

Wet rats after the game. Please notice that the bandanna that started on my head migrated to my arm and then bled all over my shirt. One messy example of a very sloppy day as an American soccer fan.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Oh, Liz

There are things that I will miss about living with my cousin Liz but what I won't miss is my front row seat to her relationship disasters.

She is a hot mess.

It enrages me because Liz is brilliant and successful and hilarious and funny and what she wants is such a disservice to the amazing person she is. What Liz wants is to throw herself into a relationship so deeply that she doesn't know where she stops and he begins. She wants to define herself entirely by that relationship.

This is nothing new. It's how Liz has been for years. Forever, probably, though I didn't notice it until she started dating after her divorce.

Because it's nothing new, I shouldn't have been surprised when I got a text message today that basically informed me that our cousins road trip to see Beyoncé and Jay-Z is now a sex weekend for Liz and her guy-of-the-moment and a chance for Meg and I to feel like the third wheel.

She has an extra ticket to the concert because her sister isn't well enough to go. She mentioned bringing our younger cousin Paige on the trip or maybe a friend of hers but she wouldn't commit and I assume it's because she was waiting on this guy.

So today she informed me that she and a "friend from DC" would be staying together at a certain hotel and Meg and I could stay at that hotel or we could stay elsewhere. (Liz had already said she would book our hotel rooms.) She would drive to Chicago with us, maybe, but she would stay the entire weekend. So, apparently the concert was going to be the extent of our shared activities.

...a few hours later, she recanted and suddenly everyone was going to stay in the same hotel: the dude in one room and the three of us in another room. Then she would move to his room once we left and maybe she realized that she was being a dick but, sorry, too late.

I should mention that Liz pulled a very similar stunt on a trip to Chicago for the NHL Winter Classic five years ago. We were all attending the same event, we booked rooms at the same hotel and we never saw her. But, this time around, it worse; we've planned this trip together from the beginning.

It is what it is and it truly isn't something that's worth arguing over, but I'm just a little perturbed that a trip that we planned together months ago has turned into Meg and I getting tossed aside for a booty call.

Monday, July 14, 2014

About a Boy, part 4.

Turns out that C is engaged which, now that I know, makes all the sense in the world. I thought he was shy when what he really was is in a serious relationship. Hindsight, am I right?

This is how much it matters in the context of our story: not at all.

I got my life lesson and I got my memories. That's what I needed. Not him, specifically. Not another guy living in a different time zone.  That wasn't what this was about. And it never was. I didn't need this (interesting) information to realize that.

Time will not be wasted thinking about why the topic of a fiancée was clearly avoided or what he was thinking or why he was acting as he acted. It doesn't matter.

I took what I needed to from that week in Brazil. I'm grateful for it. And now I am closing the door.

Friday, July 11, 2014

One down, two to go

How about this for a somewhat-unbelievable factoid, you guys: I've been at my job for a year. My anniversary was on Tuesday and I can hardly believe it.

Oh, what a year.

I never pictured myself as The Boss. I'm not a particularly assertive person. I had my doubts. ...when do I not? But the transition was easier than I expected. This role fits me well. For now. It isn't a forever job -- after three years, my pension will be vested and I expect that I'll be ready for something bigger and better -- but it has been a great place to put on my big girl pants and give management a real try.

And the funny thing is that I'm not half bad at it.

I inherited a mess. But I feel like I've gotten this place almost back to where it should have when I took over -- at acceptable but not remarkable -- and now that I have everything mostly figured out, I can shoot for remarkable.

Who doesn't like an underdog? Who doesn't appreciate a comeback story?

I won't be here forever. But, oh how I look forward to telling my predecessor about how bad it was as I show him or her how great it is. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

No. F'ing. Way.

This week has felt like You're a Relationship Failure week. Is that a thing? I'm pretty sure it's a thing. A thing that coincides with hitting rock bottom. 

I'm probably just being sensitive, but everything feels like a neon sign that reads "ALONE! FOREVER!" is flashing above my head. 

So, clearly this week is the week when one fatal Facebook click leads me to the news that Colin is getting married.

Colin! F'ing Colin! 

For those of you who didn't read my blog, like, eight painful years ago: Colin came into my life shortly after college and our relationship was, quite frankly, a gong show. A gong show that I happily went along with and then unhappily went along with until one year, at Christmastime, he completely disappeared for a month or so and even I couldn't give him any more chances. That kid was the biggest trainwreck and, I swear, a way bigger waste of my time than The Coach ever was. 

I cannot believe that he's getting married.

I cannot believe that he found a girl who would marry him. 

I cannot believe that he found a girl who would marry him and he didn't fuck it up. 

Wow. I feel really bad about myself. Alarmingly bad about myself. This is...something. This is really something. 

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

A few from Brazil -- the sights

We stayed in Olinda, which is just north of the World Cup host city of Recife. When we were researching our travel options, Olinda seemed like a good fit: the trip into Recife was manageable (20 minutes or so) and there was a lot to do within Olinda itself -- we weren't always running off to Recife to find something to do.


What Olinda didn't have, unfortunately, was a decent beach. We had to go into Recife for that. What it did have, however, was gorgeous views and a ton of history.


Olinda is actually UNESCO World Heritage Site. There was so much to see -- I think there's 20 Baroque churches just inside of Olinda -- and we didn't come close to seeing all of them.


And there were tons of little shops and restaurants and walks we could go on and bars where we could sit outside, watch soccer on the television and enjoy a caipirinha or three.


We saw a good number of World Cup tourists tagging along a tour guide. We felt pretty lucky to have the beauty and the history of Olinda just outside of our hotel's front doors.


Apparently Olinda is a rockin' place for Carnival. There were freaky-ass Carnival body puppets here and there. They never failed to make me shutter a bit. Or pose for a picture.


We did get down to the beach in Recife on one afternoon. The World Cup fell during the area's rainy season and, yes, it totally rained.


There's a historical area of Recife that we never got much of a chance to explore. We did stumble upon an old prison that had been converted into a craft market, which was a gem of a find. Such a clever use of the space: each vendor's selling space was an individual prison cell. 


If I ever booked a trip to Brazil outside of the World Cup, there's no doubt that I would have picked the standard Rio/Copacabana sort of a vacation so it was, lucky, in a way that we ended up where we did. It was gorgeous and a really good combination of all of the best parts of vacation: history, beaches, great drinks, cute boys, decent shopping, great food and good company.

About a Boy, part 3.

The reason I wrote about C at all wasn't because I think that he's my destiny. It isn't because the story was all that interesting or steamy or anything, really, other than a lot of reciprocated flirting.

I wrote about C because it was an experience that I needed to have. It was a reminder that I needed.

Perhaps it is a sign that I am old or maybe just out of practice, but I had completely forgotten what it felt like. Going out as a big group. Leaving from and returning to the same place. Drinks and camaraderie. It reminded me of college. When you went out with a group that included that boy, where you and everyone else knew that he fancied you. When the only unknown was when he would act on it.

But, what I had forgotten about even more than that college-era buildup was what it felt like when a guy genuinely likes you. When it's so bloody obvious that it's right there in the air between you that you can practically reach out and take it into your hand.

The Coach never genuinely liked me.

It's foolish that I needed waste years and travel halfway around the world to figure that out but I did. I needed to go halfway around the world and meet a Midwesterner who actually, genuinely, unabashedly wanted to be around me, who I knew for all of a week and who I will likely never see again, in order to understand that The Coach never did.

And that's why I wrote about C. He unknowingly gave me a great gift and I want to remember every detail.

Because this was about him but it also wasn't. It was about another guy. It was about The Coach. But mostly it was about me.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

A few from Brazil -- the soccer

We went to Brazil to watch the World Cup and, while we were there, we saw four games: Italy/Costa Rica, Mexico/Croatia, Italy/Uruguay and USA/Germany. The USA/Germany game deserves its own post. 


So, the way it works with World Cup tickets is that you blindly apply for games starting six months (or so, the dates change for every tournament) out from the start of the tournament. Then, in November, you see what teams were selected for your games in the random draw.

You can buy tickets a few other ways, too, like buying tickets to all of the games at a certain stadium or for a certain team. You can also wait until after the draw so you know what teams you'll be seeing but we like to pick a location and build our trip around that. We're happy to see any game. I'm glad we're not picky.


The first game is always an adventure. Figuring how to get to the stadium. Seeing all of the fanfare. It's just extra exciting and extra festive and we were losing our mind with joy at the Italy/Costa Rica match. And then the stadium ran out of food and we got a little crabby. We rallied. I kissed a Mexican fan at his request. Italy did not win. Fact: I've seen Italy play in three World Cup matches and they've won none of them. Which is a shame, because I always want to root for them. (I finally gave up on 'em later in the tournament, as you'll see below.)  


We decided to cheer for the Croatian team in the Mexico/Croatia match because Mexico is the USA's biggest rival and also because, when Meg and I were in South Africa, we tried rooting for Mexico and the Mexican fans were mean to us.


For the Italy/Uruguay game, we went to a stadium that was four hours away from where we were staying. That was a long day. A very long day. But the game was entertaining. Maybe you heard about Uruguay's Luis Suarez biting an opponent? That happened in that game. 


We took a chartered bus with a bunch of strangers to the Italy/Uruguay match and we were the only three females. I had great hopes of passionate love affairs, as we had a few British guys, a few Irish, a few Australians. We enjoyed their company but nobody fell madly in love. 

Especially me. Because I was squished in the front seat next to a very loquacious dentist from Iowa.


Do you suppose a double rainbow sighting counts for extra if you're in a moving vehicle with a bunch of Irishmen? 

Sunday, July 06, 2014

All Moved In

...okay, that's a bit of a lie.

Mostly moved in. Boxes here, there and everywhere. But all of my things are out of my cousin/roommate Liz's house and at my condo. Or in my car.

There's a lot in my car. One day I might even have the energy and the motivation to move all of it from my car and into my condo.

I find it mildly irritating that neither my sister, Meg, nor my best friend, Lucy, have stopped by to see the place. That's not even fair, honestly, because I haven't been jumping up and down and insisting that they visit. Like, if Meg had been the one to buy this condo, I guarantee that she would have set up a caravan to drag over each and every one of our 4th of July guests to see it. But I am not Meg.

I'm not the type to push it. If people want to see the place, they'll see it. I'm not going to have a damn housewarming party. I just thought Meg and Lucy would each have five minutes to walk through. Oh well.

Anyone else spend his/her holiday weekend setting up house? Braving Ikea in search of a damn rug when she should have been watching Netherlands/Costa Rica in the World Cup quarterfinals? No?

Well, then. I hope you enjoyed your fireworks and your barbecue and your patriotic Jello shots.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

About a Boy, part 2.

We spent almost the whole next day with the boys. We coordinated an early wake up; we all had tickets to the USA/Germany game and big plans to celebrate like true patriots. We all had an early breakfast, everyone stopping by our shared table by the pool, dropping in here and there as we layered on the stars and stripes and face paint.

It was raining, as you may have heard. The rain was torrential. If you watched any reports on the game, the weather was a major focus.

We caught cabs to the metro station. The boys drank on the metro because you can do that in Brazil. We were basically heading straight to the stadium, making just a small detour to the bar where all of the USA fans were gathering before the game. We were soaked when we got there. There was no point in trying to stay dry.

The bar was insane. INSANE. Our group staked out a place by the door, perfect for people watching. So many Americans in so many stupid outfits. It was everything we dreamed of. C and I braved the crowd and battled our way back to the bar, intending on ordering...tequila shots. Of course.

But the bar was out of tequila. (Like I said, it was insane. Wall-to-wall American soccer fans.) But they had Jack Daniels and we were buying a lot of Jack Daniels so maybe just the entire fifth? Yeah. C and I bought an entire fifth of Jack Daniels. It was a highlight of our trip. Meg claims she'll never forget the sight of the two of us bursting through the crowd with the Jack Daniels raised triumphantly over our heads.

Things just got messier from there. It was pouring. There was soccer. There was so much alcohol. We were drenched. C kept reaching for my hand. At one point, the gum in my mouth ended up in his mouth. Like I said: messy.   

Messy fun. 

And memorable and wonderful. We split into two cabs on the ride back to the hotel: he and I in one cab. Everyone else in another.

Then we jumped in the pool. In our soaking wet clothes. Because we could. 
    
We all went to our rooms to change and get ready for dinner and, somewhere in there, C's friend made other plans and C decided to go along with him.

It was my last night.

I was understanding and disappointed. He told me and I shrugged my shoulders, turned on my heel. Maybe I'll see you around later tonight, I said over my shoulder. Knowing that I wouldn't.

I left without saying goodbye.

I cried a little in the cab on my way to the airport early the next morning.

I knew him only briefly. I won't see him again. That isn't how these things work. It wasn't real life. It won't ever be real life.

We've emailed a few times. We have photos to exchange and, eventually, the emails will fade off and C will just be a good memory from a great trip.

And the guy who reminded me what it feels like when someone genuinely likes you. The guy who proved everything that I thought about The Coach wrong with merely his presence.      

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

About a Boy, part 1.

This is about a boy but it's also not. It's about another boy. It's about The Coach. But it's mostly about me.

While in Brazil, I met a guy. Well, I met a lot of guys but I'm writing about one particular guy, C.

For some reason I feel like I want to remember the details, so I am blogging the details. It's not really that juicy. You've been warned. 

I met him in the common room at our hotel, where we were watching soccer. The Ghana/Germany match. One of the most exciting games of the whole tournament.

The next day was the USA/Portugual match and we put on our gaudiest American paraphernalia and we went to watch the match at a bar that promised a strong American crowd. It did not disappoint. We walked in, a few hours before the match started, to cheers of "USA! USA!" and to C and his friend waving us over to their table.

The night ended with me sitting on C's lap in a cab. And then crepes. And then a swim in the hotel pool. We lost Meg and Caity sometime after the crepes. I was having too much fun to go to bed. 

We were all attending the Mexico/Croatia match the next day. Meg and Caity were anxious to get out of the hotel that morning, so we went down to the Fan Fest area (where they were playing the games on a big screen) for a while with the intention of meeting up with the boys. Their phone service was spotty. Our phone service was spotty. But then I went to go to the bathroom and there was C. We traveled to the game as a group, dragging the boys inside this great market housed inside of an old prison on our way.

Two days later (we had spent Tuesday traveling each hours each way to a match), I saw C at breakfast. He debriefed me on his Tuesday; I debriefed him on mine. We leisurely hung out over breakfast, eventually deciding to meet up early in the afternoon to watch a little bit of soccer. We watched Nigeria/Argentina at the bar on the corner and drank. A lot. We girls decided to run to get lunch at the creperie and meet the boys back at the bar. The boys showed up at the creperie. The bar closed in the late afternoon. We made a trek to a paella restaurant. We took our seats and Meg and Caity and C's friend had a sudden urge to buy something at the shop down the street. I was left with C. We ordered tequila shots and promised not to tell anyone that we had them. It seemed like a good idea.


And then everyone else came back and blew our cover. We laughed about it. 

The tequila was what changed things. It's always the tequila, isn't it?

C claimed that two tequila shots would make him black out, but that he would be okay with one or with three. We went with three. I'm still a little proud and a little amazed that I didn't throw up. But I didn't. I flirted with C and I watched France/Ecuador.

C is one of those guys who gets touchy when he drinks. Hand at the small of your back. Reaching for your hand. Rubbing your shoulders. He doesn't grope because he isn't disgusting.

When the match was over, we stopped by the hotel before we stuffed all five of us into a cab and went to the mall. Because we needed to pick up some match tickets and because the boys were good sports. The entire time, C and I were both pretty tequila drunk. He shared his gelato with me. We kicked a soccer ball in a sporting goods store. We dashed around the mall, looking for red, white and blue face paint. He told me to slide tackle and steal the jersey of the first German fan we came across. I pretended to do so. 

I sat on his lap in the cab on the way to the mall and then I sat on his lap again on the drive home and he wrapped his arms around my waist and he buried his face in my neck and I wasn't really drunk anymore. Just happy.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Gratitude: June


  • A valid passport.
  • A house of my own.
  • Cheese. 
  • A sense of adventure.
  • Volunteers. 
  • Anti-humidity hair products. 
  • Friendly strangers.
  • Organization.
  • My parents, who put up with me and my moods and my anxiety during the entire house hunting process and who had hardwood floors installed in the condo while I was in Brazil and who have fixed the oven and touched up the trim and otherwise been pretty damn great.
  • A safe trip. 
  • Common sense.
  • Public transportation. 
  • Patriotic pants. 
  • Flirtatious boys. 
  • A decent sense of direction. 
  • My lunatic sister, who is intense and difficult and drives me crazy and is my favorite person and traveling partner. 
  • Sunscreen. 
  • An adventurous palate. 
  • The sporting event of all sporting events: the World Cup. 
  • That this month, like all months, ended so I finally can stop bleeding money. 
  • Caipirinhas! ALL OF THE CAIPIRINHAS!  
 
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