Monthly Archives: April 2012

What Do You MEAN You’re Hungry Again?

As has been previously established, I have two children and a husband.  We go through a lot of food.  The husband doesn’t eat as much as the kids, so we’ll focus on the knee-biters.

They aren’t really knee-biters anymore I guess, they are 15 and 10.  A girl and a boy and they are always hungry.  They are not uncared for, so I really don’t get where the endlessly empty bellies come from.  They get a decent if quick breakfast, they are either given money for lunch or a lunch is packed for them.  They have an after school snack and dinner and sometimes an evening snack.   Yet in spite of this well-fedness, the most common phrase in my house is “do you know what we are having for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack?”  It is also one of the most dreaded phrases in my house because although I am a good cook, and every so often I actually feel like doing it, I generally DON’T feel like it.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love food.  All kinds of food.  Healthy, unhealthy, I can find a place for all of it; but I’m tired a lot.  It doesn’t seem to matter how much sleep I get, I’m tired.  I used to think it was because I had some creepy undiagnosed disease, but then one day I sat down and THOUGHT about said day and I realized that I am tired because I am busy.  I only work outside the home on a part-time basis because I am a substitute teacher, so if nobody is sick or in need of a mental health day, or if my husband is out-of-town, I don’t work.   You’d think that would make me less tired, but it doesn’t, because on those days “off,” I do about four thousand pounds of laundry, vacuum, run kids everywhere, do bills, you get the picture, and make food.

The minute they walk in the door after school, they look at me and ask what we are having for dinner.  For some reason, I get a flash of irritation that is immediate, I make a big heavy sigh/grunt and snap, “OMG, (insert kid’s name here)  I don’t know, it’s only three o’clock!!  You just walked in the door, I just walked in the door!!  GIVE ME A FEW MINUTES!!”  At this point, I actually either stomp off to some other part of the house, or I continue to mumble and grumble under my breath as I slam cabinet doors trying to find food.  It’s not that we don’t HAVE food, we have plenty, we just don’t have anything that can magically prepare itself.  You can only subject your family to so many “eat whatever you want nights” before somebody comes down with rickets or scurvy from eating crappily unbalanced meals.  Now if we were pirates, that might be just fine, but the school authorities would probably frown and call child services if my previously healthy children got rickety or jaundiced.  So I have to find them some vittles.

One problem that we have is that none of us like leftovers.  There are a few things we’ll eat leftover, like my cheesy tuna noodle casserole, but most leftovers acquire interesting textures and smells all most right away and we just end up throwing them away, so I try to make just enough food so there ARE no leftovers.  We are not slimy texture fans around here, so I can’t have leftover night, which would probably be a nice thing to do.

Another problem that we have is that we are not rich enough to eat out every night.  Now THAT would be nice.  But alas, we usually only go out one night a week, Wednesday, to kid’s night at Skyline Chili, even though neither of my kids can eat free anymore, it’s a thing we started years ago and we keep doing it.  So that night is my favorite as I have to do NOTHING.

My favorite kind of dinners are homemade chili and tacos and breakfast because they are either easy, and/or you put them on early and let them simmer and then when it’s time to eat, you grate a little cheese, and fill up a bowl.  You can also put all kinds of things in chili like finely grated carrots so it really IS a complete meal in a bowl.  If you are a weirdo, you can make it out of soy chunks.  Tried that once.  Did I mention we have texture issues??  Yuck.

In conclusion, I have to say, that once my kids are grown and living in their own homes, I will live on things like peanut butter spread on apples, scrambled eggs and toast, mac and cheese and various varieties of veggie/dip trays from Kroger.  When I need meat, I’ll go to Longhorn and Wednesday night will forever be Skyline night.  For all you health food folk out there, I’ll be taking vitamins and eating lots of raw veg, so I won’t die.  All that money NOT spent on food can then be re-directed to books and art supplies where it belongs.

Be kind to one another 🙂

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Ode To Women’s Friendships

One of the interesting things about women is their friendships.  I’m not talking about the lady you talk to in the kindergarten pick-up your kid line, I’m talking about the girls, your peeps, your unrelated sisters.  I have several of these women in my life and I swear, as God is my witness, I don’t think I could make it through without them.

We are there for each other no matter what.  When we are sick, when our kids, or parents or husbands are sick, we help each other, even if it’s only a hug and a shoulder to cry on.  When our we or our kids or husbands or parents screw up, same.  We are support during weddings, funerals, graduations from whatever,  divorces, breakups, makeups, fat, skinny, holidays, haircuts and insults.  The list goes on and on.

We eat together, drink together, laugh and cry and get hysterical together.  We can listen to the worst story imaginable and if it was DONE to one of us, we sympathize, if one of us DOES it to someone else, we accept and don’t judge.  We make fun of our boobs, butts, hair choices, clothing choices and jobs.  We go to each other’s stupid pyramid sales parties and buy baskets, make-up, candles, food, cookware and purses so our girls can get free stuff.  We buy fund-raiser crap from each other’s kids.  Twenty dollar pretzels anyone?

Why am I pondering this you ask?  Because this woman bonding begins early and stays late.  I see my daughter and her really close friends doing a teenage version of what me and MY friends do.  If one of them is sick, they text each other to make sure the missing one is ok.  Boy trouble?  Look out for the friends.  Heartbreak?  They come together and take each other’s minds off of it.  If one has a BF, the rest of them try to draw him into the crowd.  If an outside aquaintance messes with one of them, they circle the wagons around the hurt one and the claws come out.  When outfits or movies or music or books or extracurricular activities come up, they do them together.  If a grandparent dies, or a family breaks up, or a parent loses a job, they grieve together, they pay for each other by turns when they go somewhere, they share their food.  When one of them is successful, they rejoice together, they are proud of one another and they are not afraid to say it.  They eat, drink, laugh, cry, and get hysterical together.  They couldn’t make it through high school without each other.  They love one another and it is wonderful to see.

On the older end of the spectrum, I watch my mother-in-law and her friends.  They are red hat ladies together.  They all quilt and do crafts together over the computer across thousands of American miles.  They get together once a year for their “retreat.”  Retreat in case you didn’t know it, is code word for big-ass, week-long party.  They go site seeing, and shopping, and crafting together.  They eat, drink, laugh, cry and get hysterical together.  They support one another through weddings, funerals, grown kid problems, and grandkid problems.  They rejoice when one of them does well, they grieve when one of them loses.  They couldn’t make it through the golden years without each other.  They love one another and it is wonderful to see.

So, to all my girls out there and you know who you are, I love you, I couldn’t make it through life without you and it’s good to know you are there.  And by the way?  This is not an exclusive club, there’s always room for more.

Be kind peeps 🙂

My War on Wars on Stuff

Ok, this is not exactly political, it is more of maybe, a grammar thing the more I think about it.  Recently in the news, we hear about wars on stuff.  Apparently, there is a war on bedroom politics, a war on women, drugs, poverty, guns, free speech, religion and pit bulls.  I am sick to death of hearing about all of these wars.  It just seems stupid to me.  Distracting. Boring.  I am starting my own war against wars on stuff, and hopefully, they will be more interesting.

War Number One.  I am declaring a war on fitted waistbands.  They are uncomfortable.  They add to my claustrophobia.  When wearing a fitted waistband, I find sitting to be less than desirable.  Especially if I’ve just eaten.  They tend to bind and I posit that we don’t have to take it anymore.  We live in a time of spandex added to denim for God’s sake, why should the waistband of our pants be so unforgiving?  hMMMM???  I think it’s a conspiracy.

War Number Two.  I declare war on lining in clothing.  Am I the only one who has noticed that the lining in a skirt or pair of pants is always at least one size smaller than the garment itself?  Also, while the garment may be made out of some type of nice comfy fabric, the lining stuff is always stiff and weird.  NO MORE LININGS!!!

War Number Three.  Plastic bags for your groceries.  I want the big brown, rectangular, paper ones back that my mother used to get when I was a kid.  They were heavy-duty.  You could fill one of those suckers to the BRIM with cans and it wouldn’t tear.  You could load one up with packets of biscuit or muffin mix and the corners of said packets would not make a big split down the side which would allow all of your other stuff to fall out in the parking lot.  In addition? those brown grocery bags, when lined with a tall kitchen garbage bag, make fantastic puke bags.  No buckets or trash cans full of vomit that then need to be >gulp< poured out and cleaned.  Scuze me a sec, I’m feeling a little squeamish….  OK, better now.

War Number Four.   People who mow their grass too much.  You know who I’m talking about.  The weirdo who mows his (and it’s always a him) grass to within an inch of its life and then when you mow yours the next day “he” comes out and mows his AGAIN.  It is one form of OCD that needs to be cured.  Just because I mow the day after you, doesn’t mean I’m trying to one up you.  Honestly, I’d let it go back to nature if I wasn’t afraid the township would fine me.  I’m just environmental like that.

War Number Five.  School buses and garbage trucks.  Yeah, yeah, I know the buses take the kids to school and they’re convenient and all, but they are loud, and if you get behind one, they are smelly.  They come through the neighborhood waaaay too early and wake everyone up.  Now that my kids don’t have access to a school bus, we all get an extra hour of sleep in the morning.  Garbage trucks, same thing.  Loud, early, smelly.  Do we REALLY need them?

See how stupid my wars on stuff are?  Well, not all of them, just half of five, because someone really does need to take the trash away.  Any who, my point is this, using the term “war on (fill in the blank)” is irritating.  It’s annoying.  It’s like when George Bush said “Make no mistake” and every other stupid politician started saying it.  Every time I hear someone say “Make no mistake” I immediately zone out and miss the rest of what they are saying.  Get to the point,  dramatics are not necessary if you are saying something important or interesting.  If you have to use a tag line to get your point across, change your point or better yet, just zip it.  I have better things to do than listen, like clipping the lining out of pants, or tormenting a goofy neighbor with yard work.

Be kind to one another 🙂

I Know Why Women Talk More Than Men

A few years ago, I read an article  by some crusty old college professor type dudes, that said women talk something like three or four times as much as men.  That’s just bullcrap, I remember thinking to myself.  I am a substitute teacher and a wife and mother of a boy and let me tell you something, the boys talk and gossip more than the girls.  When I am teaching it is usually the boys who get in trouble for talking.  Just recently, I had a third grade boy come up to me when I was subbing and tell me all about his love life and how one girl keeps trying to get him to “go out” with her when she KNOWS he already has a girlfriend.  Needless to say, I gave him the mom/teacher combo speech about how he is too young for all that junk and he needed to just go back and sit down and stop thinking about girls so much.  It went on and on, but you get the gist.

So anyway, back to women talking more than men.  It started to hit home with me a while ago, but over the last weekend, it hit home with a ton of lead, exactly WHY women talk so much.  It’s because we have to repeat EVERYTHING we say, especially to the men in our lives.  Both the big men and the little ones.  I was sitting in my living room trying to avoid the 52 inches of Sponge Bob that was blaring in the family room, when my son walked through and I asked him if he had finished his homework.  “What?”  I repeated myself.  “WHAT?”  I repeated myself again.  “Oh, yeah, I got it done a long time ago.”  Then, when I was in the kitchen, which is PART OF MY FAMILY ROOM AREA, I said to the same small boy, “Go wash your hands, dinner is almost ready.”  “What?”  I repeated myself.  “WHAT?”  “GO WASH YOUR HANDS IF YOU WANT FOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”  “gee mom, you don’t have to yell…”  It’s a good thing he’s cute and does funny things.

This went on ALL WEEKEND.  For everything.  It could be an order I’ve given, a request I’ve made, a compliment I’ve doled out, permission to go play outside, an announcement that I have won the Powerball and everyone is now going to go to school online and we are going to buy an RV and travel the world with it like The Wild Thornberries, and I will have to repeat myself.  Usually more than once.  By the time I went to bed on Sunday night, I was exhausted.  I didn’t do more physically than I usually do, I hadn’t solved any quantum physics problems that would’ve worn me out mentally, all I did was repeat myself.  Over and over and over.  I don’t have to repeat myself as much with my daughter, and as time goes by, less and less often with my husband, but the little boy is going to kill me.  Or drive me crazy.  Or cause me to take a vow of silence.  HA, let them function for more than a few hours if I do THAT!

SO, the next time some MAN (and lets face it, it’s usually a man) says that women talk too much, look at him and say “What?”  Make him repeat it a few times, then just shrug and grunt and walk away.  It will totally freak him out and it will be funny.  Try it.

Be kind to each other peeps 🙂

Why Do People Look Younger Today Than Saaay, My Parent’s Generation

I have been trying to unlock the secret to eternal youth just like everybody else and I think I know where it lives.  In the Clairol or Loreal Paris, hair dye box.  It also lies with well styled hair.  Whether it’s short or long, matters less than it having some layers.

Back in the day, I remember thinking my Grandma was about a hundred years old.  She lived in a tiny little Grandma house with a chenille bedspread and a black couch with little shiny silver, pokey threads coming out of it.  She baked cookies with too many eggs in them (yuck), her Thanksgiving stuffing was slimy and came out of the turkey’s butt (yuck) and her Christmas tree was silver with a rotating color wheel behind it (weird).  She was a nice lady, but between the cat glasses and the short gray hair that was fashioned into a fascinating hard-ish cap of curls, she seemed REALLY old.  I recently realized that she was only in her mid-fifties.

TODAY, when you see a woman in her mid-fifties, more often than not, she is in jeans, with beautifully styled and beautifully colored hair.  She is wearing make-up.  She is usually carrying some kind of fancy purse and wearing flip-flops.  My grandma would’ve died rather than wear jeans or flip-flops.  Women that age today wear pretty colors and sparkly stuff.  They go out with friends to bars and restaurants, not necessarily bingo at church.

My Grandma became a Grandma and immediately started playing the part.  Women today become Grandmas and go, “WOW, I’d better step up my game.  I have to keep up with these little kids when they come over and when they are gone, I’m gonna PARRTAAAY!!”  So they get a nice swingy little cut and a lovely shiny new hair color, and suddenly, they look 30, 35 at the most and they start having fun again.

I started coloring my hair vigorously while preggers with my daughter.  Yeah, yeah, it’s bad for the baby, whatever, she came out fine.  She was sucking me dry and my hair started to get gray.  Wasn’t gonna have it, so I started coloring it.  I am naturally a blondie.  I was a lot blonder when I was a little kid and it kind of faded and darkened over the years (especially after the baby), so I experimented.  I have been really blonde, sort-of blonde, dark red, dark brown (those were bad), strawberry blonde, caramelly blonde, blondish with highlights, blondish with low lights.  I am currently strawberry blonde underneath, which fades to a light caramelly blonde with blonder highlights on top.  It’s pretty.  I get lots of compliments.  And it’s long.  And layered.  When a Mom I’ve known for a number of years recently was having a conversation with me and I told her how old I am (forties) she said, “I didn’t know you were that old!  I thought you had your daughter as a teenager!”  HAHAHAHAAAA!!  “It’s the hair” I told her.  “Cut it off, get me a perm and let it go streaky gray and you’ll think I’m fifteen years old than I am.”  Her response?  “Damn, I need to get to the salon.  I haven’t done anything with my hair in years.”  She did it and guess what?  Instant fountain of youth.  Her eyes look brighter, her skin looks firmer and she is walking with a little kick in her step that I’ve never seen.

I also had a convo recently with my girlfriends about when, if ever to stop with the color.  My answer?  Never.  If Armageddon comes, expect to see me out gathering nuts and berries to combine into some sort of all natural color rinse.  Just because the world may be falling apart, doesn’t mean I have to.

SO, the next time you feel like you look like you’re old and dying, do your hair.  Don’t go straight to Botox or plastic surgery.  Get a new ‘do and some nice color and tell everyone you are ten years younger than you are.   Oh, and don’t get 1950’s cat glasses.  Or a cardigan with a little chain.  Chins up!

Be kind to one another and have a great day!! 🙂

The Road Less Travelled – We Tend to Find It

My family and I recently took a four-day trip to Chicago over spring break.  We stayed in a very nice hotel a block from Michigan Avenue.  We went to Bloomingdale’s, and the Sears Tower, which is now called the John Hancock Center or something along those lines, we ate Chicago pizza at Giordano’s and got creeped out by the scary waves one day on the lake.  But the REAL fun came when we veered off the beaten path and marched to the beat of our own marching band, like we tend to enjoy doing.

Before we left home, my husband went on Roadside America.com and looked for unusual things to do in Chicago.  GOLDMINE!!  We had breakfast at The Time Warp Cafe, a little place that made me feel, well, timewarped to the 80’s.  They had a Back to the Future DeLorean and a flux capacitor for heaven’s sake!  I also had the prettiest vanilla latte I have ever had in my life.  In a china cup, not a paper one with a stingily given cardboard sleeve to prevent third degree burns to my delicate digits.

We went to see The Shit Fountain.  Seriously.  Apparently, this crotchety old man got tired of the neighbors letting their dogs crap in his tiny little postage stamp front yard, so he paved over it with concrete to make his area less appealing, then he had The Shit Fountain erected.  It is a lovely affair with a nice large pile of fake doggy doo coiled coyly up on top.  The title of said fountain is carved in block print around the base that holds the poo.  It was totally awesome.  While my husband and daughter were taking each other’s picture in front of it, my more easily embarrassed son and myself (also easy to embarrass) stayed in the car nervously giggling as some neighbors came home and almost knocked my hubs and daughter over as they brushed past them into their home.  My son and I almost died and most assuredly would have, had we been out of the car.

The Shit Fountain

Then, we went to Graceland cemetery to see the Grim Reaper.  Now, you gotta love a cemetery with creepy monsters in it.  As I’m sure you know, most of them consist of lovely memorials, weeping angels and the occasional crypt.  This one has a ten foot tall spooky dude who doesn’t have a scythe or anything, so I’m not sure he’s the GR, but he is kinda scary.  I vote for a cemetery where all the monuments are scary.  Finally, a boneyard that you actually CAN be afraid of.  Sounds cool.

Grim Reaper at Graceland Cemetery

After lunch at Potbelly’s, a sandwich shop I’ve never been to before, we went to the Woolly Mammoth.  It is an antiques and oddities store similar to Obscura, the one in New York that is the star of the show on the Science Channel.  It was cool.  They had jars of teeth, taxidermied critters, a zombie Elvis lamp (THAT was cool), and the awesomest guy ever running it.  When we told him we had spent the morning frolicking in the cemetery and that although it might sound kind of weird, we had a blast, he said, and I quote, “That’s not weird at all.  I go frolicking in the cemetery all the time.  In fact, there is another one not far from here called Rosehill that has a lot of good ghost stories associated with it.  You should go check it out.”  I swear to You Know Who, that I think I am just going to stop trying to live the pretense of normality and start seeking out my people.  Those considered “weird” by everyone else.  They are usually super nice, and they don’t think I am excentric at all.  In fact, most of them think I’m a little too “normal.”

The moral of this story is basically to let your freak flag fly and to take the road less travelled.  Quit worrying so much about whether you are “normal” or “weird.”  Face it we are ALL weird in our own special ways.  Embrace it.  Do the stuff you like and don’t worry about what other people think.  Go see the regular stuff just so you can talk about it if you need to, but take the road less travelled.  You’ll see cool stuff and meet nice people.  Even if the stuff and the folks are a little “weird.”  Life will become an adventure instead of a drag.

Have fun and be kind to one another 🙂

Pinterest – The Only Thing Keeping Me From Formally Becoming a Hoarder

So, Pinterest, for those of you who don’t know, is a virtual cork board, or scrapbook, if that’s more your style.  You get someone to invite you, then you create themed “boards” and “pin” stuff to them.  Recipes, cute babies, cute dogs, horses, owls, windows and doors, yard stuff, books, Johnny Depp, clothes, light fixtures, dresses, wedding stuff, hair styles, vintage posters, flowers, houses.  The list is endless and could go on and on and on.  A friend of mine got me started (thanks Jen) and I now have close to 1700 pins.  I am in virtual possession of numerous houses and beautiful things to go in them, outfits I’d wear if I lived someplace warm and Johnny Depp, Aerosmith and Toby Keith.  My verdict of this addictive habit??  IT’S TOTALLY WICKED!! (to quote the little kid who lives next door to the Incredibles)

A bunch of my friends are on there now too.  One of them, I won’t mention your name Brenda, has something like 50,000 pins.  She makes me feel inadequate.  I thought I was doing good with my 1700, but alas, I am slacking.  My daughter is also jonesing on Pinterest.  She pins on her computer.  She pins on her iPod.  One of my daughters from another mother is also a big Pinner.  I’m starting to think that we may need Dr. Drew to start a new addiction show for Pinteresters that get carried away.  A recent developement is that cute teenage boys are on Pinterest.  Oh to be young again.  You can send subtle, virtual messages to people you are crushing on, if you pin the right stuff, if you really think about it.

I have a problem with “collecting” so Pinterest is saving me a fortune as well as preventing me from filling up my house with all this newly discovered, quite awesome stuff.  I did make one of the recipes I found on there.  Lemon yogurt cake.  It’s a lovely dense lemon coffee cake that you drizzle confectioners sugar/milk icing on.  It was really good.  I want to try some more recipes, but I am too busy Pinning things to cook.  I am listening to Micheal Buble as I write this and I realize that I have not Pinned him.  Johnny, Aerosmith, and Toby, need a new and classy friend.  Gotta go…

Be kind to one another peeps 🙂

I Married the Easter Bunny – The Epilogue

So Mark went back to New Mexico, I stayed at home until March while everything got re-arranged.  The USAF moves kinda like molasses, so they finally got our stuff moved and I finally went out there.  It was a big deal to me, as I had only lived at home my entire life and moving from the Greater Cincinnati area to Alamogordo, New Mexico was like moving from earth to the moon.  The anchor store in the mall was K-Mart.  But life in NM is a whole other story that I don’t have time for here.

We have had some down times, but honestly, I have to say that our life has been mostly up.  We are still, after all this time, best friends.  We’d rather be with each other than not.  We still have fun together and we still like each other, which from what I can tell from looking around is HUGE.  We still talk to each other, about everything.  We don’t keep secrets and if something is bothering one or the other of us, we talk about it BEFORE it becomes a problem.  He thinks of me before he does anything.  He even checks with me before he arranges work trips to make sure it is convenient for me and the family.  He is a good husband and a good father.  It is wonderful to know that my children and I are his first consideration.  It is a blessing to have a husband whose first interest is my happiness and comfort.  I will never understand how I got so lucky.

As far as the parents go, the Dads are both gone, but my Dad considered Mark a son and taught him how to build stuff and fix cars and plumbing.  Mark’s Dad considered me a daughter and was always good to me and always made sure that my mother-in-law kept Fig Newtons in the house for me.  For a year after he died, they tasted like sawdust and I couldn’t eat them.  Almost two years later, they once in a while taste like Newtons.  I’ve pretty much switched to Vanilla Oreos at their house though.  The Figs will never be the same.

The Moms are still here.  My mom is suffering from some flavor of dementia.  The specific type is really not all that important as it is six of one, half a dozen of another.  But I CAN say that she always considered Mark a son and once she got over the shock of my defiance, she let it all go and things have been fine.  In the last couple of years, since my Dad is gone, she likes Mark better than me and that is ok.  My mother-in-law treats me like a daughter.  She helps me quilt and we laugh together and talk regularly.  She knows now, that I’m a good girl and I always was.  She realizes that I make her son happy and we have the same kind of relationship that she and Grandpa had.   We are good friends and it makes me happy.

We have two beautiful, smart children that make our lives complete. Without them, I don’t think either of us would be able to breathe.  They are the greatest blessing that God has ever decided to grace us with.

I wrote all this down, because a friend of mine asked me where I found him and are there any more of him running around.  I found him when I wasn’t looking, at the mall.  In a bunny suit.  Two years younger than me, getting ready to leave for the Air Force.  Improbable on every single front, but we made the right choice.  In spite of everyone’s doubts and best efforts, we did it anyway and have never looked back.  The old wives tale is true.  Happy is the bride the sun shines on.   Thanks for reading all this peeps 🙂

I Married The Easter Bunny Part X – We Actually, Finally, Get Married

The day after The Wedding That Wasn’t, we got together again and talked some more.  He had gone home and thought about everything that happened and he realized that I was right.  Nothing had gone the way it was supposed to, or the way WE wanted it to, and then with me sick, it was just all wrong.  That evening, he took me down to a beautiful spot in the hills above Cincinnati where we could see the city lights and re-proposed to me.  Properly this time.  No over excitement about a new ring, no rushing.  It was waaaay better than the first time.  That afternoon, he had called the reverend and made arrangements for us to go to the church the NEXT day and get married by ourselves.  The day after THAT, he had to leave to go back to New Mexico and the USAF.  The funny thing about all of it, was that the day we finally ended up getting married is my mother’s birthday.  L-O-EFFING-L!!

While I cannot remember many details of the Wedding That Wasn’t, I CAN remember the Wedding That Was.  I wore a cream-colored skirt and a pink sweater with a lace collar.  I wore the lace tights I was going to wear with my dress, my fancy blue feathery garter and a pair of cream-colored flats.  I wore my great-grandmother’s cameo pinned on the middle of the collar and my hair was down with the sides pulled up the way I always wore it and still wear it frequently today.  Instead of the big, beautiful, fairy light accented bouquet I had made for myself, I carried the small one that I had planned to throw at the reception.  Mark wore dark dress pants and a white shirt, red tie and tweed jacket.  My brother-in-law came along and took pictures.  The rev married us in the little chapel instead of the big sanctuary.  It was quiet and kind of dark.  We spoke quietly.  It was just us and it turns out that was the way it was supposed to be.  Everything we’ve done since has been best when it was just us.  It was warm for January and we left the church with our coats over our arms.  There is an old wives’ tale that says “Happy is the Bride the sun shines on.”  When we walked out the door, the sun was shining brightly.

We drove over to his mom and dad’s house.  His mom was laying in bed throwing up.  His grandmother had also been sick.  I’d had a virus.  It wasn’t nerves, or cold feet, or lack of love.  I wasn’t being selfish or immature.  I hadn’t broken down from the stress I’d been under.   Although I don’t like anyone to be sick, knowing that I wasn’t the only one, was one of the great reliefs of my life.

We left his house and drove over to mine.  I got my little overnight bag and hugged my mother.  We got in my little car and drove to the Hilton for our wedding night.  We finally relaxed and had room service for dinner.  The next morning, I took him to the airport for the flight back to New Mexico.

I didn’t move right away because the moving arrangements with the Air Force had to be re-worked.  I missed him more than ever, but at the same time felt better because I knew that nothing and no one could step between us ever again.

Next time, the epilogue.

I Married The Easter Bunny – Part IX – The Wedding That Wasn’t

We were to be married in a beautiful Methodist church.  Since it was January, most of the Christmas flowers were still in the church and due to the color of the stained glass, the color of the flowers, various shades of pinks and white, coordinated with my chosen colors.  We were going to add some other things, but honest to God, I can’t remember what those things were going to be.

We got to the rehearsal and did it.  The only thing I remember was someone behind us yelling,  “WE CAN’T HEAR YOU!  YOU NEED TO SPEAK UP TOMORROW!”  I kid you not, that is all I can remember, and I have no idea who it was.  I don’t remember how I got to the rehearsal dinner.  I don’t remember who I sat with.  All I remember is that it was a pizza place, we had the party room and no one ordered me a plain cheese pizza.  At the time, the only pizza I would eat was plain cheese and everyone, EVERYONE who knew me, knew that and I was the Bride and no one got me anything that I wanted to eat.  I recall leaving, sort-of.  I don’t remember where Mark was.  I don’t remember saying goodbye to him.  To tell the truth, I don’t remember him even being there, even though I know he was.  One of my girls took me home after a loooong time of riding around and talking.  I don’t remember what we talked about.  I’m pretty sure I just downloaded everything I had been through over the last couple of months.

What I do remember is getting home and vomiting.  And then vomiting more. And again.  And again a few more times.  Pretty much all night long.  There was no way I was going to be able to get married the next day.  I called Mark in the morning and told him I couldn’t do it.  He offered to rent a wheelchair for me.  Carry me.  Have the reverend come over to the house.  I didn’t want to do those things. I looked horrible.  I felt horrible.  The last couple of months had traumatized me, the night before sucked and I was sick.  I still wanted to get married.  I still loved him, but I was not going to do it like that.  Everything about the lead up had sucked and the actual wedding was going to make me happy, not another level of miserable.  He was not happy with me.  My mother was thrilled and to be honest, although we have never discussed it, I’m pretty sure his parents were only sad that he felt bad.  His side called his people.  My parents called our people and some people we couldn’t get ahold of.  I personally called the friend’s mom who was supposed to provide the food and she said and I quote, ” Oh that’s ok.  I don’t even have anything started yet.  To be honest, I haven’t even bought the ingredients yet.”  My intuition was right about that one.  I called my DJ friend.  HE said, and I quote, ” Oh that’s ok.  I forgot and scheduled another gig for tonight and was trying to figure out how to be in two places at once.  This takes a HUGE load off.”  Check TWO for my intuition.  My mother called the cake people and they said they were loading it into their van right then, what did we want them to do?  Mom said deliver it here.  So they did.  Box after box after box of cake.  It took up half the living room.  It was freaking delicious.  Lesson to be learned?  Hire freaking professionals.  Had the wedding happened, we would’ve been listening to the radio and eating G-DAMN CAKE because my caterer and DJ would not have shown up!!

A couple of hours after I talked to him, Mark came and picked me up.  We went off alone and talked.  I told him that I still wanted to get married, but I couldn’t do it like that.  After everything that had happened and then being sick, I just couldn’t do it.  He said he’d have to think about it.  He took my ring and took me home.  What had been the worst eight months of my life just culminated in the worst twenty-four hours I had experienced.  Ever.