December 29, 2006
That you willingly traded cell phones with me so I could take advantage of our New Every Two plan and buy my super cool, Heck Yes I’m So Freaking Organized Now It’s SCARY Treo 700p Pure Palm Smartphone Ramma Lamma Bing Bang. Even though my old cell phone was a Razr and totally sucked. And had the battery life roughly equivalent to that of the mayfly. Oh, and was pink. Bright pink. So very, verrrrry pink. Pinkalicious! Which I don’t need to remind you is the totally hip color for the modern, totally not gay man, so really, some might say I did you a favor. That’s all I’m saying.
That you let me give you facials and microdelivery peels. Because, hey, let’s face it, even a man needs to exfoliate once in a while, am I right? Plus, it’s TINGLY! (Um, see above.)
The way you seem to intuitively KNOW when I’m in a total funk– the kind in which I am unable to resist the urge to eat every last cookie or pastry in the house, after which I park myself in front of a mirror, puff out my tummy, and deliver a lengthy and somewhat tearful discourse on the many evils of clothing companies and the arbitrariness of pant sizes; or the kind in which I say things like “Okay, I know you did NOT just take the last piece of gum out of my purse!” after which I make that angry face, you know, the one you always say me make me “look like Satan”– and you realize that the children are dancing the electric slide on my LAST NERVE, so you wrangle them and drive them to the nearest park or the library, thus giving me some quality alone-time with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, old REM CDs, and my inner bitch, while at the same time saving the children (and yourself) from verbal annihilation. That’s what’s called being a HERO. Seriously. There will be songs.
That, when we actually find a babysitter and go out on a Real Date, and you take me to a restaurant in which the establishment holds up its personified nose at blue jeans and Uggs, poo-poos the idea of “dining on a shoestring,” and doesn’t even MAKE a children’s menu, and the waiter brings the bill at the end of the meal, you always make sure to ask in a voice that carries all the way to the old, snooty-looking couple at the furthest corner table, “Now, you take FOOD STAMPS, right?!” Which is never embarrassing. AT ALL. Wait…
That when you get embarrassed your ears turn bright red and you smile in the cutest, sexiest way imaginable, thus providing me with all the motivation I need to cut loose the craziness and do my utmost to embarrass you whenever the opportunity presents itself.
That when the weather outside is frightful, you will wake up at four-thirty in the morning in order to warm up the car, scrape and de-ice the windshield, and drive me to the train station, so I don’t have to endure the horrors of navigating the Capital Beltway in inclement weather. Which is TGIM-speak for “So you don’t freaking kill yourself, you wicked-crazy, aggressive driver, you.” Which, aaaaw! And RUDE.
That you are always willing to go on long, brisk walks with me, during which you patiently listen– even interjecting an occasional “yes” or “I hear that”– as I expatiate on the superiority of the earlier seasons of Buffy, before Angel left, Oz took off, Buffy became the vampire layer (oh, yes I DID), and Willow turned all gay and whatnot.
That when you overhear a conversation about whether or not it would be appropriate for children to wear their Halloween masks in the local church during the Fall Festival-slash-Halloween Party, you immediately bring the conversation to a higher plane of thought by leaning in and asking, “Well… What Would Jesus Wear?” And that when I burst out laughing– thus securing myself a special place in hell– and no one else does, you simply give one of those Uh-Huh, Think About THAT shrugs and walk away. Thus securing a place in hell right along with me. Baby, that’s love.
Happy anniversary, gorgeous man. Best fourteen years of my life, bar none.
December 24, 2006
And a happy new year, yo?
December 21, 2006
Never go to the drugstore unprepared.
Yesterday I needed emergency greeting cards of the “Yay! You’re Getting Married!” variety. But not for my sister’s wedding tomorrow, no, sir, because that would mean I am completely disorganized and never plan ahead. Which I DO and it is not MY fault that I have a SYSTEM which involves a veritable tizzy of activity the week before an event and when I get the stomach flu during that very week and Alli gets strep throat AGAIN, well, it understandably throws me off my game a bit, so just STEP OFF. By the way, if you’re expecting a Christmas card from me before Christmas rolls around, I hate to tell you this but even though I absolutely did NOT procrastinate AT ALL there was some huge mix up or something at the post office so…. But they’re coming! I SWEAR! By the New Year! I’m almost sure! But maybe later than that!
Wait. What was I talking about?
Oh, yes! The drug store. Ha, ha. I’m just joking. Like I would lose my train of thought.
The drug store! Yes! There I was at the register. The cashier had just given me my change in that annoying way cashiers have of sticking the receipt and dollar bills in my hand, then piling the coins in this precarious heap on top of them, all “HaveanicedayMayIhelpyou?” Of course I panicked because I’d been summarily dismissed and the next person in line was pushing me out of the way but I still hadn’t put my money away because there were COINS on top of my BILLS and the coins needed to go into my coin purse before I could get to the bills because I obviously couldn’t put my bills in the nifty bill holding part of my wallet until I made sure all the presidents were present and facing the same direction, now could I? And hello? The damn receipt should have just GONE IN THE BAG because, seriously, what was I supposed to do with it? It does not BELONG with my change. Honestly. It is most inefficient. And not all of can just shove our change– bills, coins, receipt, the whole shebang!– into our pockets, all willy-nilly-like, are you LISTENING retailers of America?! I’m sick and tired of being oppressed by the Man. Coins first. That’s all I ask. Coins FIRST.
Anyhoos, as I scooted to the side of the register to organize my money into a pretty stack of ascending denominations, the older lady– a senior citizen– approached the cash register, clutching two boxes of Triscuits to her chest.
“Is there a stock person I can talk to?” she asked in a terse, snippy way that fully captured my attention.
Uh-oh, I thought, and slowed down my sorting activity. I had a front row seat after all.
The cashier summed up the situation. “I think so,” she said pleasantly. “Do you need more?” She directed a pointed look at the Triscuit boxes.
The senior stepped forward with THAT look in her eyes. You know the one. This was going to be FUN.
“No,” she retorted, “I want fresher!”
Aaaaand there it was.
The cashier’s face took on that almost hopeless, hunted look an animal gets when it is backed into a corner. Do you know it?
Then… Oh crap! I thought, seriously rethinking the whole I’m Just Going Jogging So I Am Entitled To Some Slack In The Area Of Personal Hygiene stance I took that morning. Is this a sting?! Is she with Consumer Alert?! Dateline?! Part of a Senior Citizen Watchdog group?! ARE THERE CAMERAS?! But I quickly dismissed the idea. I mean, would any lady in her right mind dress herself in those bright yellow sweat pants if she were going to be on television? I think not.
Then, quick as a flash, she leaned over the counter and thrust one of the boxes of Triscuits in that hapless cashier’s face. THRUST it, I tell you! “See this pull date?” she said, pointing one wrinkled, but neatly manicured, finger at the top of the box. “It’s in TWO WEEKS!” She tapped the top of the box, two rapid rifle shots of the “so there!” variety fired point blank at the cashier. Tap! Tap!
It is a testament of my maturity and self-control that I was JUST able to stop myself from blurting out the first thought that came into my head (it also helped that it was early in the morning and my meds were in full effect). “Lady, if you want fresh Triscuits, then don’t buy them at the freaking DRUGSTORE. Look outside! See that big building across the street? The one with the giant S followed by AFEWAY? That is what’s called a SUPERMARKET. Look into it!”
The cashier quickly paged a stockboy (poor sucker), the lady stormed off in all her righteous almost-expired Triscuit glory, and I breathed a sigh of relief because I had dodged a bullet, for sure. Don’t mess with grandma’s Triscuits, you know what I’m saying? Phew!
I learned my lesson, that is for darn certain. Never go to the drugstore unprepared. Be fully bathed, dressed, coiffed, and medicated, or some cracker-craving old lady might just kick your ass.
Just so you know.
December 19, 2006
(WARNING: As will be further explained below, I am running on very little sleep and too much soda pop. The probability of random, rambling prose is much higher than usual. For real. I shouldn’t be allowed near the keyboard. You have been warned. I wash my hands of you.)
Wedding registries have ruined everything.
You think I’m kidding, but I’m not. Seriously, hello? What do we all gleefully anticipate on our wedding night? Tackling and unwrapping that mound of presents, of course! Oh, yes. All. Night. Long.
But there’s no excitement in the whole gifting process anymore. No mystery. No drama. Instead, there’s a whole lot of brides and grooms glued to the computer, with visions of place settings dancing in their heads. “Hey, honey! Take a look! Someone just bought the silver-plated candle snuffer! One more candlestick and that insta-romance mood lighting set is OURS, baby! High five.” What happened to the days of oohing over homemade gift baskets and aahing over lovingly-stitched quilts? Or giggling at the gift from Aunt Gert that you think could be a ginormous checkered trivet but might also be a homemade chess board, minus the chess pieces? Or threatening to commit hara-kiri if you unwrap one more George Foreman grill, so help you God Almighty? Man. Those were the days, I tell you what. The laughing. The crying. The re-gifting.
Oh, whither hast thou gone days of yore? Whither?
A person like me needs options. A person like me needs her freedom to choose, are you feeling me? So I would think that when a person– in this case, me– decides to gift my much loved sister-in-law on her wedding day with a super secret, super special Cat-crafted wedding video– complete with myriad and sundry pictorial and videographical evidence of the fourteen years of our relationship– then, pursuant to Giftmeister’s Rules of Gift-Giving Etiquette*, said sister-in-law and assorted relatives forfeit any and all rights and privileges to choose the music and content contained thereinabouts. Because its MY GIFT! To HER! But still MINE! All MINE!
I mean, because it is my gift to give, and should be created autonomously. Which is why it is super secret in the first place. That’s all I’m saying.
So when– through no fault of my own, I assure you– the bride-to-be finds out about said super now-not-so-secret, super special Cat-crafted wedding video o’ goodness, and subsequently offers several detailed suggestions as to how I should craft said video, and her parents call at regular intervals with gentle, friendly reminders that they haven’t received their copy of the wedding video in the mail… well, quite frankly, it stresses me the freak out, okay?
Not that there’s anything wrong with either the suggestions OR the gentle, friendly reminders. No, sir! Nothing whatsoever! Totally understandable! I’d likely do the same thing myself, if the tables were turned! Except I’d probably supplement my efforts with a full frontal email assault, and request a private screening before the video’s wedding party and general public premiere, but that’s just me and is totally beside the point. I’m just saying I have IDEAS. I have VISION. I have an entire sequence of pictures set to Lee Coulter‘s Booty Voodoo!
Okay, I’ll admit that a song with the lyrics,”I’ve got a wife with a sexy butt that wiggles… (shake it! shake it!),” and “Girl you know my weakness is the uniqueness of your cheeks, yeeeeeaaaeah!” may not– perhaps!– be the most appropriate song choice for a video celebrating the sacred and eternal union of two souls, forever shackled together by the matrimonial bonds of holy love. According to TGIM, anyway, but whatever. I think it’s sassy. But I’m not married to the idea or anything. Oh, goodness! See what I did there? That’s what you call a pun!
But I digress.
My point? I’m, like, an artist. That’s right. A cinematographical ARTIST. Or something. Like Steven freaking Spielberg! But not really. Or like Michelangelo! But not with the painting, so much. And did the Pope stand around all day while Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, offering suggestions and asking him to please hurry because we have a DEADLINE here? Huh? I think not! Because Michelangelo was a freaking ar– what? Really? The Pope did?
Whatever. You totally know what I mean. All I’m saying is that due to stress and copious Diet Dr. Pepper consumption (imbibition?), I’ve averaged about four hours of sleep per night this past week. I know, right? No messy my resty, the Momma need sleep! Honestly. The bags under my eyes have packed up their own bags and are all “Cmon! Get some sleep already! We gots to GO!” I’m not even joking.
In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that you can throw “suggestions” and “reminders” at me ’till the cows come home, but ultimately I’m going to do what I’m going to do, suggestions and reminders be damned. Ask anyone. It’s an immutable flaw in my character. So the sad truth here is that the main source of my current stress appears to be the unreasonably high expectations I have placed upon myself to create the BEST. VIDEO. EVER.
Thankfully, the super not-so-secret, super special Cat-crafted wedding video is in the can. That’s fancy movie-talk for “I finished it last night and burned the DVDs and e’rything.” And while I may have bitterly berated myself over the past few weeks for not just choosing something off the damn wedding registry like a normal person, for hell’s sake, I can honestly say the time I spent splicing video footage and photographs was totally worth it. Because the videos and photographs reminded me of why I couldn’t bring myself to pick something off a list and have it shipped to her with a “personalized gift tag” in the first place.
Spending hours sifting through images of her from the time she was six until now was an achingly beautiful pictorial reminder of our past together. Images of her growing from the scruffy little tomboy with pigtails and no front teeth. Images of the adorable preteen with budding fashion sense and a willingness to play with and babysit my kiddos. Images of the teenage fashionista with plenty of sass and even more heart. And images of the beautiful young woman she is today, with wavy blonde hair and a smile that lights up any room. And those memories are worth missing a few night of sleep.
So wedding registry or not, those images, and the loving memories behind them, those are my gift to her. I can only hope she sees what I saw, and feels my love for her (our love for her), even though we can’t be there on her wedding day.
Of course, she’d probably rather have the toaster oven.
*Used for illustrative purposes only. I don’t know anybody by the name of Giftmeister. Frankly, I wish I did, because AWESOME?
December 15, 2006
My kids came home from school the other day full of barely-contained excitement about the holiday celebrations afoot at the elementary school.
They started babbling about the songs they were learning and the crafts they were making, all, “Yeah, so we’re making all these cool decorations for Christmakwanzukkah, and–”
Wait. Who in the what now? I thought.
“Wait. Who in the what now?” I said. “The heck you say? Christmawho’sitcalled?”
Of course my kids rolled their eyes, all, “Um, Christmakwanzukkah? Duh?” like it was the most ridiculous thing in the world that I had no idea what in the Sam Hill they were talking about. But seriously. I had no idea what in the Sam Hill they were talking about.
Okay, so here’s the deal. I’m confused. Could any three celebrations BE any more different, and here we are lumping them together all willy-nilly like? All portmanteau-esque and whatnot? And as far as portmanteau words go, this one’s a doozy, are you with me? But what I just can’t understand is why do we have to be so darn exclusive? I mean, what about Omisoka? We can’t leave the Japanese holiday out, now can we? That would be so rude. And what about the Muslims? Hello? Eid ul-Adha? Inconsiderate, much, leaving the Muslim holiday out? And a pilgrimage ain’t no small thang, either. I read The Canterbury Tales. I KNOW. Oh, and the hispanic community. What about the them? Huh?! Break out the pinatas, it’s time for the Posadas! What about the POSADAS?! Huh? Huh?
That’s right, people. Forget Merry Christmas. So passe’. And Happy Holidays? YAWN. Nope. This year I wiil wish you a happy freaking Christmakwanzukkomisokaposadeidul-adha! A merry ChristmakwanzuposadagimmeepresentsIwantaDSgimmeeGIMMEEkkah!
Now excuse me. I’ve got to jot down my grievances for the year before I head out to pick out my Fetivus Pole– d’oh! I knew I forgot one. A Festivus for the rest of us! How could I forget?
Well, I’m off to practice my feats of strength. This year? TGIM is going down.