Walking my girl

 Lola 1

My girl.

She’s been going through it lately. Well, for a dog, anyway. She had a brush with an ear infection, found out that she has a tilted vulva (don’t ask), got a haircut, and, to add insult to injury, it’s been raining for several days now.

I wouldn’t call her miserable. After all, I don’t think any creature who lives as well as she does could ever be capable of true misery, but she’s been down in the dumps. Mopey. Clingy. And, oh, the sighs that come from this dog.

Meanwhile, I’ve been chugging along, cheerfully assuring her that everything’s great — on the way to the vet [ears and vulva], on the way to the pet wash [haircut], when we’re standing out in the rain to potty [her, not me].

But yesterday, I started my new part-time job. My manager, as managers are wont to do, asked me to tell him about myself.

MANAGER: So you’re in school?

ME: Yes. Studying social work. I’m going to be a licensed clinical social worker and, hopefully, do therapy and counseling with combat veterans.

MANAGER: That’s really cool. So, when you’re not in school, what do you do for fun?

ME: Well, I’m ignoring the fact that I should be finishing my novel. And I have an Etsy store. And I substitute teach.

MANAGER: Oh, that’s really awesome! …But what do you do for fun?

Kittens, I didn’t have an answer. I certainly didn’t want to say “Watch tv,” though, recently, my recreation can be boiled down to watching Miranda on Hulu in bed while stress-drinking an absurd amount of tea.

I wouldn’t call me miserable. After all, I don’t think any creature as blessed as I am could ever be capable of true misery, but I’ve been down in the dumps. Mopey. Clingy. And, oh, the sighs that have come from me.

That question, “What do you do for fun?” has been plaguing me.

I was walking Lola this morning. It’s raining. The grass is wet. And, as we’ve covered before, I don’t think I loathe anything in this world as much as Lola loathes wet grass. Or even damp grass, really. So here we are, mincing our way down the driveway – she, trying to find the least wet patch of grass in the yard while I, on tiptoe, try to avoid stepping on any of the approximately 7 million earthworms littering the pavement. Because they gross me out. I’m frustrated at her for being so picky while she, undoubtedly, is frustrated for my refusal to understand her “issue.” (pronounced in the fancy way – “iss-you”)

Eventually, we both gave up. Lola heaved a giant sigh and waded into the wet grass and I’m pretty sure that I stepped on a worm. Or nine.

I think we both need a little shake-up in our lives, Miss Lolabear and me. She needs the hair trimmed from between her toes and, I’ll admit, a bit of an attitude adjustment. (It is not your bed, Lola. It is our bed and we let you sleep in it.)

I, on the other hand, need to chill the f*ck out.

And yet, it’s hard to tell myself to do that. The world seems to have gone mad. Really and truly mad. Dear friends of mine are hurting. It seems that everyone is hurting.

The papers will get written. The work will get done. The bills, somehow, will get paid. Everything will work out. What’s that quote? “Everything will be okay in the end and, if it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.”

I guess I need an attitude adjustment of my own. I’ve missed this blog. I’ve missed attempting to make you laugh. That used to make me really, really happy. That used to be a lot of fun. And, in this time of great struggle for our world, I think we need more laughter and fun. After all, when the laughter stops, things get very scary very quickly.

Sending you all so much love. We’ll get through this. It has to stop raining eventually. But in the meantime, I leave you with something that’s been making me laugh quite a bit the last two days. Thanks, Barry. You’re tops.

You know I like my chicken fried, my tequila in a commemorative travel cup, and my change dispensers needle free.

So it would seem that yesterday’s post was a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

         Kara, it seems, cut a giant gash in her foot LAST WEEK and didn’t disinfect or treat it. It is now infected. (Note: Kara is a giant weenie when it comes to peroxide, or anything that stings for that matter. Dabbing peroxide onto a cut reduced her to shrieking/giggling and my mother to cursing as she tried to wrangle Kara’s flailing foot. I’ll admit that the cut was pretty deep, but still. I’ve seen footage of childbirth where the women made less noise than Kara while having a wound treated. [It was for a class!] This reminds me of a story about Carter. If you’re good, I’ll tell it to you. …Later.)

         Because of the infection (Kara is CONVINCED it’s gangrene. Yes, she was on Wed M.D. No, I did not tell her to look it up.) my mom is making her wear shoes with socks to protect her  tiny   self-inflicted   gaping wound. Kara brought only flip flops. They are at the mall as we speak. (Did I not say there would be a trip to the mall?)

        My dad is sure to suffer a nervous breakdown this morning. They went to the mall to buy shoes. But I just got the following texts.

Text from mom:
“Kara ran away from us into Anthropologie and we can’t get her out of there.”

Text from Kara:
“Anthropologie! Squeeee! [Emoji icons of mustachioed man, trumpet, trumpet, trumpet, heart, cat]”
 
(Note: For those of you who don’t know what Emoji icons are, I give you this: They are entirely more work than they are worth.)
 
          Because Kara can’t wear sandals, this will give her the perfect excuse to con my mom into going to the Buy 1 Get 2 Free Cowboy Boot Store.

I love them and the chaos they bring and am so glad they’re here! (No sarcasm. Promise.) But, to recap, in her first 20 MINUTES in town, Kara:
a.       Nearly broke my mom’s nose by kicking at her while my mom attempted to apply peroxide.

b.      Got slammed in the doors of our elevator.

c.       Lost her phone.

d.      Yelled at me for not keeping a tub of Tollhouse Cookie Dough in the fridge.

e.      Yelled at me for not having Diet Coke. We went down to the vending machine to get a couple for her, and while reaching for her change, she felt something prickly and screamed, “Now I have AIDS!” It was a piece of a corn chip.
 
      (Note: Before you go and think she’s insensitive, there is a reason she yelled that. Kara and I went to Catholic elementary school and during an Anti-Drug presentation, a police officer told the school a story of a man who was HIV-positive and liked to leave his used Heroin needles in the change dispensers of vending machines and would lurk behind the corner until someone reached for their change and would then jump out and scream “Congratulation F***er, you have AIDS! [He didn’t say F***er at a school assembly. But I’m sure the heroin addict did.] It has been a serious, albeit irrational, fear of everyone who was in that gymnasium ever since. I’m not quite sure that this story was on-message. Rather than teaching us to be afraid of the evils of heroin and what it will do to your mental state [which was, I’m sure, his intention], he created an entire school of children who would leave all of their change in the vending machines because they were afraid of crazed heroin addicts playing pranks. Yes. This is my life.)


(Addendum to note: Lest you think Kara yells a lot, well… she does. But not in an angry way. She just, as she says, “loves out loud.” This means that when excited, happy, annoyed, frustrated, silly, angry, or overjoyed, she will yell. It’s like when Will Ferrell played the character with Voice Modulation Disorder on SNL.)
I’m supposed to meet them for lunch and can’t be certain what state they will be in, but I can hypothesize:
        Kara will have new shoes and a new outfit from Anthropologie.

        Mom will be a basketcase from playing embassador between the Crazed Wounded Shopaholic (Kara) and the Loveable Yet Occasionally Curmudgeonly Anti-“Recreational Shopper” (Dad). She will have sucked down an entire iced americano that she thought was decaf to calm her nerves but that was actually fully caffeinated because the barista is an idiot (I was a barista for a while. I can criticize.) and will show up to lunch buzzing like a wind-up toy from being over-stimulated, over-caffeinated, and over-wrought.

        Dad will be on his seventh coffee, using it to subjugate his frustration that my mother is allowing the hostage situation to continue. (By hostage situation, I mean the fact that Kara has stated that she will not leave Anthropologie until her demands are met. Those demands are probably along the lines of the duvet cover from that very store that she’s put on her Christmas and birthday lists for the last two years that is now on sale for a mere $100. What a bargain! *grumble grumble sarcasm grumble*)
Many Three will enter, one will win. My money’s on Kara.
Where is Carter for all of this, you may ask? Carter has to go to “the library” because he has a “paper” that’s “20 pages long.” Pssh. (Note: I’m sure he does have a paper. But I do think it’s very coincidental.)
 
I may not know how their day will go, but I do know that we will be beginning the night at Margaritaville.
Why? Because Kara loves it.
We will not be eating there, because my dad, my mom, Carter, and I all refuse to.
Why?
–         Because we don’t love it.
–         Because there is one of the world’s best (Yes, it’s won awards) BBQ joints on the planet across the street.
–         Because we don’t like getting a snarky server who will make us wait for his presence, our drinks, and food, and be rude and unavailable until it’s time to pay. (I served for many years. I can criticize.)
–         And lastly, and perhaps most importantly, because too many margaritas are bad for family gelling. In other words, too many margaritas equal the following:
Me, drunk and in a near diabetic coma bitching about why the latest season of Community isn’t on Hulu Plus yet. And where the hell is the new Arrested Development?
Kara in the t-shirt shop “buying all the things”
Mom running interference between my dad (who doesn’t drink tequila)and my sister (who has been over-served on tequila in her commemorative souvenier cup that I will end up carrying the whole night)
Dad listening, oblivious, to the sweet sounds of a Jimmy Buffet cover band
Carter, screaming “Dracula musical” at the band in between numbers.
(For those of you who haven’t seen “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” watch the following. You’re welcome.)
 
For all of the above reasons (which we may or may not have learned on New Year’s Day of this year at that very Margaritaville), we will merely be stopping by. Then we will proceed to a bar down the street that pretends to be a honky-tonk and my mom and I will engage in a heated debate about which is better – Bud Light or Miller Light. (Correct answer: NEITHER. But between the two, she prefers Miller. Because she’s crazy. And a traitor to her homeland.)
I’m kidding, Mom. You’re not crazy. But St. Louis might have something to say about the latter.
It’s gonna be a great night!
Happy Friday, y’all!


Emojis: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/emoji-free!/id332509635?mt=8

"Don’t rub it in my face that pork products will kill me" and Other Sundry Updates

Updates:

         It’s not a stress fracture! It’s tendonitis that masked itself as a stress fracture. Now I’m on a mondo anti-inflammatory pill, lots of ice, and prescribed physical therapy. This is all much better than having large “pins” put in my foot to stabilize the bones. (I say “pins” because I don’t believe that they should be called that. They are more like “giant stainless steel nails that are stabbed into your bones and then forcibly removed by a man with pincers.” Dramatic? I think not.)

         I very nearly adopted a basset hound named Tilly last night. And by almost, I mean the following:

1.       I saw her on the Humane Society website for my area and saw a little, blond basset hound puppy named Tilly.
This is what a blonde basset puppy looks like. This is not Tilly. But it looks just like her. All of the following actions are totally justified.
 
2.      My children’s book that I wrote and am currently editing is called “Tilly and Claude” and I took this to be a sign from God.

3.      I researched how much it would cost to buy her from the Humane Society and worked up a plan for sneaking her into the apartment without Carter seeing her.

4.      In my head, Carter would not have noticed her until Tilly peed in his shoe. Every dog does this at least once, just to show how much they care. Then you punish them and they stop liking you (Note: Like, not love. They still love you. I hope.) and so they don’t pee in your shoe anymore because you don’t deserve that much effort.

5.      My hands were on the phone to call and reserve her when I remembered the following:

§  Carter is generally very perceptive about the things in his natural habitat. I.e. there is no way he wouldn’t have noticed Tilly.

§  Carter would have noticed Tilly and promptly murdered me.

§  My family is coming to visit and my practical parents, if there was anything left of me after Carter did his worst, would finish the job because, as they would remind me:
                      A. I don’t have time for Tilly
                      B. I can afford Tilly as long as she never gets sick or eats a dead                      bird or has to have anything extracted or injected into her
                           body
                      C. Any animal owned by anyone in my family will do/have all
                           of those things done to them at least once a year, ergo, I
                           can’t afford Tilly. (Yes. Ergo.)

         My family is coming to visit! (I know, I know, it sounds like I’ve been in prison forever and this is my once a year family visit! I haven’t been. But it’s kind of like that. Except that I see them way more than once a year. So I guess it’s not at all like that. I just like them. Back off.)

I really love it when my family comes to visit. Truly, I do. And I’m not just talking about the trip to the grocery store because my mom just needs “to pick up something” i.e. my groceries. Because she’s a lamb. They all are.
But I should tell you that my family is the most indecisive unit in the world. Think New York in the musical 1776. (“New York abstains, courteously.”)
In addition, my sister and my father suffer from something we call “The Syndrome.” This means that whenever they get hungry, they turn into raving, snarling, sarcastic lunatics with an insatiable taste for manflesh. But they don’t notify us when the slight pangs of hunger begin. No, no. Not Dad and Kara. They wait until they are starving to death to send up the Bat Signal. Of course, by this point, my Mom and I have already figured it out. Our hints? The fact that we only have stubs for arms and our eyebrows have been singed off.
 
After the decapitation, this is what usually follows:
DAD: I’m starving. Where do you all want to eat?

MOM: I don’t care.



KARA: I don’t care.

ME: I don’t care.

CARTER: Burgers sound good.



DAD: Well I’m not going to choose all by myself. Come on, make some suggestions.

ME: Well, there’s Chinese.

KARA: No.

ME: Mexican.

KARA: Had it yesterday.

ME: There’s that noodle place.

KARA: Gross.



CARTER: Burgers sound good.

KATE: Well you can’t shoot down all of my ideas without suggesting some of your own!

MOM: I’m not making a decision. I make decisions all day. I’m not making this one.

CARTER: Burgers sound good.

DAD: Well you have to suggest something!

KARA: HOMETOWN BUFFET!

[Blank stares from the entire car, followed by a resounding and in-unison “NO!”]

ME: Ok then, what about that place with the really good salad bar. Carter’s a health nut now and I’m a reluctant quasi-vegan who occasionally dabbles with goat cheese and pescatarianism.

CARTER: Burgers sound good!

DAD: I don’t want to do the salad bar. Good idea, but not really feeling it today.

(Note: we have been sitting in the driveway for 15 minutes now.)

ME: Guys, I’m gonna level with you. I’ve done all of the suggesting here and my blood sugar is getting low. We need to make a decision soon.

CARTER: Burgers sound good.

DAD: Well if your sister weren’t so freakin’ picky and your mom wasn’t so indecisive…

MOM: I am not indecisive! I just refused to make a decision. It doesn’t mean I can’t.

DAD: What’s the difference?!?!?!?

MOM: A lot.

ME: What about that BBQ place?

MOM: Kara’s allergic to pork.

ME: They have other things than pork.

KARA: Not worth eating. Don’t rub it in my face that pork will kill me.

ME: It won’t kill you. It will just make you nauseus.

KARA: SAME THING!

DAD: Girls, throw me a freakin’ bone here.

CARTER: BURGERS SOUND GOOD!!!!!!!! (silence follows)

DAD: Carter, why didn’t you say that before.

ME: They have a great veggie burger at this one place.

KARA: Mmmm, burgers.

MOM: I’m not making a decision. But I like burgers.

At this point, Carter generally has a stroke from frustration and passes out.

So in preparation, I’ve already made all of the dinner reservations and mapped out potential lunch options so that there is only one for each day they are here. The order is up to them. Although, given history, if they are here three days and there are three lunch choices, it will still take us 45 minutes on day 1 and 2 to decide and we will probably debate on day 3 as well and end up going back to the restaurant from the first day. I know us. It’s happening.

But I will say this. We always have a great time once we get there. That is, once we’ve revived Carter. Poor thing. He’s a lamb too for putting up with us. We’re not easy, I assure you.

While they are here, I fully expect the following to happen:
1.       Kara will chase down and catch one of the stray cats in our neighborhood and put it in her shirt because she misses Mr. Fred. (Note: Kara is not a pervy weirdo with a cat/shirt fetish. Mr. Fred is our cat. We bottle fed him from the time we found him when he was a week old. We used to carry him in a purse. When he stopped shitting all over the purse, Kara started carrying him in the pocket of her hoodie. When he got too big for the pocket, Kara started carrying him around the house inside the hoodie with his head popped out the top. This has translated to all other shirts. It’s how they bond. It is NOT, however, how stray cats bond. I hope the lesson isn’t too painful for her.)

2.      Kara will order something at the restaurant that she is allergic to, even though we tell her not to. She will then end up eating my dinner, leaving the dissected remains of her own for me. I will make spagetti when I get home.

3.      My dad will suffer a nervous breakdown when my sister, mom, and I return from the Buy 1 Get 2 Free Cowboy Boot Store and my mom is holding the receipt. There may be conniption fits. I can’t be certain.

4.      My mother will decide, upon walking around the bar scene, that she has “Mom Jeans.” We will go buy her “Hot Lady Jeans,” which will be worn on this visit and then will sit in her closet because my sweet mother has delusions about her figure. She is perfect and yet she envisions herself as a potato. 6 months from now, I will find the “Hot Lady Jeans” and force her to wear them out to dinner. Whereat she will see the mother of one of her students and freak out that the woman was judging her jeans. Which she won’t have been. I promise, Mom. (Mom: You don’t have mom jeans and you are perfect. Honestly. I don’t have to say that. I’m your kid. I devoted 15 years of my life to thinking you were always wrong. And I’m saying it. So you know it’s true.)

5.      Carter will also suffer a nervous breakdown, but it will be from Kardashian Overload. Kara is staying with us. Kara likes watching the Kardashians. Kara is an anthropologist. This is her excuse. (Note: If you see Carter on the street and he has a glazed look on his face, you will know why. Just buy him a beer and sit him down in front of a tv playing ESPN. He’ll come around.)

We will all drink too much and eat too much and laugh too much. Someone will take something out of context and probably cry for a minute in the bathroom, but apologies and dessert will heal all wounds. I will say to Carter that I can’t take another minute of the bickering but then they’ll get in the car to drive for home and I’ll miss them as soon as they’re out of sight.
I think that’s what it means to be an adult member of a family. If you’re not driving each other crazy, you’re not doing your job correctly. Because all that crazy keeps you honest and grounded, and if they’re driving you crazy, it means they love you enough to bother.
I am blessed with a lot of crazy.

It’s almost Friday, y’all!

Puppy: http://www.dsbassets.com/puppies.htm 

The Airplane Hanger Conundrum: My Wedding

Well here it is, kids. The Wedding Work-up.

As it turns out, it is possible to survive an entire afternoon and evening without breathing. How do I know? Because my dress was a really fancy sausage casing. That’s right. I was a giant, taffeta bratwurst.

Isn’t it gorgeous? No, that’s not me…as you might have noticed.
 I know, I know. How glamorous, right? Absolutely!…unless you’re in a church with spotty air conditioning. Carter was sweating profusely (And making weird-ass faces. Did I mention that?) and I was trying really hard to discreetly wipe away the sweat mustache he gave me when he kissed the bride before we recessed out of the chapel in front of everyone I’ve ever met. Only time will tell if it worked. But if in our professional pictures, or in any of your own, if you see a glistening on my upper lip, you can blame the dude in the vest next to me. I certainly will.
During our wedding photos, done by the AMAZINGLY talented, Jami Guess, I was asked to climb into a window sill 3 feet off the ground. I looked at her like she was bat crap crazy until lo, what did I see in the sill? An air vent. I don’t know that anyone has ever moved so fast before.

JAMI: Ok, guys, I need everyone to look at me. Kate? Kate?! KATE!!!
ME: Huh? What?
JAMI: Are you ok?
ME: Fine! Proceed!
CARTER: (whispering to me) Are you ok?
ME: (whispering back) There is just the most amazing draft in my undercarriage right now. It’s a little distracting. The best thing ever.
CARTER: Well I hope it’s not the best thing ever, heh heh. (creepy wink)
ME: Right now? It’s the best thing ever. Love you!!!!!
Funny, but he ignored me. I can’t imagine why. He DID set me up, after all.
But in all seriousness, other than our parents cutting and running early (they pay attention but fail to follow directions) on the unity candle, my dad nearly giving the ushers a heart attack by accidentally stepping on my train and whipping me backwards mid-stride (The dress was fine, calm yourselves. Our ushers, however, were a little shaken. They don’t cover “What To Do If Your Elegantly-Clad Bride is Suddenly Nekked Because Her Anxious Father Stepped On Her Dress and Her Dumb Ass Kept Walking” in Ushering 101.), and my new younger brother-in-law refusing to pull up his pants (I kid, I kid!), it was a beautiful ceremony! And I mean that seriously. Though the next time I get married, I’m going to put leashes on the parents to keep them on the altar!

See what I did there? I’m not getting married again. Are you CRAZY?!? Carter and I are still going to be married in 3,000 years. Mostly because we’re going to preserve our heads like they do in Futurama.

It will be glorious!
After this, we had the reception, which was equally awesome, but a hell of a lot weirder.
First of all, that thing they always say about how you can get anything you want when you’re the bride? It’s total bull crap. A dear college friend, knowing my love for it, wanted to buy me a tequila shot. And since I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t take in more than about an ounce of liquid at a time. It was perfect!
TAYLOR: Two tequila shots, please! One for me and one for the bride.
BARTENDER: I’m sorry. I can’t give you a tequila shot.
ME: I got this, Taylor. Ma’am, I’m the bride.
BARTENDER: Are you?
ME: (Looking down at my dress to make sure I’m not hallucinating) Yes. I am.
BARTENDER: Well, I still can’t give you a shot. It’s policy.
ME: Okay then. Can you put an ounce of tequila each in two glasses and then give me two lime wedges? Then it’s just tiny tequila, neat.
BARTENDER: No. I can put it on ice.
ME: So let me get this straight. You would serve me a bourbon, neat. But you won’t serve me tequila that way.
BARTENDER: There are stigmas. No one shoots Woodford Reserve, ma;am.
ME: I’m dubious about that, seeing how people defile it by putting it in Coke. But you’re serious?
BARTENDER: Yes. I can put it on ice.
(Friends, this is the first time I have ever taken a shot through a straw. I don’t recommend it.)
Then, Carter dropped cake down my dress and then asked me to feed it to him. Because he’s gross.

The toasts were amazing and my sister pulled the Hail Mary Pass of all Maid of Honor Toasts. She took 5 tequila shots immediately prior and then delivered the most BEAUTIFUL speech. I’m telling you! She was a flu-ridden Michael Jordan in the NBA finals! (I’m still wondering how she got those shots, mind you. No, no. I haven’t forgotten.) Best Man toast was elegant and awesome as well! (They like me! They really like me!)

My dad and I danced our dance to “A Pirate Looks at Forty” by Jimmy Buffett. This means that the words grass (marijuana), piss, and drunk were in my daddy daughter song. (Note: These are not GRE words) And it was glorious! I think my grandmother is still receiving regular doses of smelling salts to get over it, however.
Throughout the entire evening, I got to have one glass of wine and half of a piece of cake because people kept mauling me. Here’s the difference between the bride and groom and I’m going to come out now and say it’s not fair.
With regards to the groom, people think: “Oh, look. There’s the groom! He’s on his way to the bar. He deserves a drink, poor chap, having a ball and chain and all, now. As a matter of fact, I think I shall get him another drink to celebrate! And cake as well! Jolly good fun!” (Apparently everyone at my wedding was unaware of the fact that they were from a Monty Python movie.)
With regards to the bride, people think: “Oh, look. There’s the bride! She’s on her way to the bar! We should maul her. Now! Move, move move!!”
I may as well have had a target on my forehead.
In all seriousness, I’m glad people mauled me. (Maybe I should rephrase that?) Because I was in such a daze that I wouldn’t have thought to talk to anyone and probably would have ended up with a straw in the chocolate fountain because I was so overwhelmed, rocking back and forth and thinking what a pity it is that intravenously delivered dark chocolate would kill you.
But because my friends and family were so damned happy for me, they saved me from myself…and death by chocolate. I’m incredibly blessed to have so many people that would stand in a line to congratulate me. I’m deeply honored by it! At the time though, I’ll admit, my thoughts were, “Oh no, there’s a line of people behind the person I’m talking to. Do you think I could yell, “Minion! Bring me my wine!” and someone would do it for me?”
This “mauling” time provided me the opportunity to do what I somehow do best: be a complete and total creeper. I knew the names of every single person on the guest list, where they were sitting, and especially, who the dates were. Yes, even the one’s I’d never met. My friends would begin the introduction, only to be cut off by me exclaiming (maybe shrilly): “Oh! You’re Anastasia Beaverhausen!”
Yep.
And no, it’s not at all creepy to know the names of people you’ve never met and introduce them to yourself because you have talent and were amazing at the game Memory as a child. My gift is a curse as well, kittens.
(Note: I’ve just been informed that it is creepy. Even if you’re the bride. So, I will take this moment to apologize for traumatizing the dates of any of my friends and family that I enthusiastically greeted by name, address, and table number. I’m sure you’re emotional scars are great.)

Other than Carter’s friends hurling him into the air like a beach ball at a Third Eye Blind concert during “Shout”…

This is on the landing. Terrifying.

(Carter’s friends are all large, muscular, he-men. Meaning that when I say hurled, I quite literally mean that they hurled him into the air), the wedding reception was delightful and without incident.

Oh wait. There was the moment when I peed on myself.
If you have ever worn a wedding dress, you know the very real hell it is to empty your bladder. My bridemaids and I opted for what is called “The Airplane Hanger Method”, wherein I shimmied the grand taffeta sausage casing up my body and a bridesmaid held the front of the dress up and two more held the back of my dress/train and my 7,000 foot long veil. (Granted, by the reception, the train had been bustled and the veil cast aside, but it still stook three additional people to help me pee. Even when I was in diapers I did more with less. Sigh.) Anyways, I peed twice at the church without a problem.
My coordinator had told me to bring an extra pair of underwear as a backup. Just in case. By the time I was washing my hands after the second go, I was laughing to myself about what a nervous nelly she was. Pee on myself? Preposterous.

Until I did it.
Let me tell you, friends. You don’t realize how much you rely on your eyesight when using the restroom. And when you’re blinded by 2 yards of ivory silk taffeta that you’re reaching around to pull your underwear to the side because you can’t take it off because you couldn’t bend over to put it back on even if you wanted to, well, let’s just say it’s difficult. (Read that paragraph again. It’s dense and you need to absorb every word.)
And at the reception, I failed. Call it hubris, I sure as hell am. Thank God for spare underwear and thank God too for my wedding coordinator, who is, quite literally, the most amazing and competent person ever. She saved me. Ok, well, in this specific situation, three bridesmaids and a spare pair of underwear saved me, but for the rest of the day in general, I literally couldn’t have done it without her.
So here is the gist, and what I’ll leave you with:
1.      I cannot do the Dougie. Many people have tried to “teach me how to Dougie.” It has not taken. And no matter how much he will insist that he can do the Dougie, Carter is as lousy at it as I am. (Note: for those of you who do not have hip, younger sisters that shame you into keeping “current”, I am not referring to Dougie Howser, M.D.. I am referring to a hot new dance craze that is gripping the nation. As I see it, you pretend to be Danny from Grease. For the whole song.)
 I know it’s not very clear. But there is an awful lot of awkward hair slicking going on here.

2.      I’m pretty sure there are several pictures of my attempting to do the Wobble. Which I also couldn’t figure out. But I think it’s like a really slutty electric slide. And I plan on YouTube-ing it later to learn it. I like slutty line dances.

3.      A shot on ice through a straw is not a shot. It is a drink on the rocks that you drink really, really quickly through a drink stirrer.

4.      A catheter is not a crazy idea for a bride.

5.      DO NOT FORGET YOUR PASSPORT. (Yes, I did this. Thankfully, we have amazing friends, one of whom coaxed his way into our apartment and rifled through my tank tops to find it and bring it to the wedding. You’re the best, Will!)

6.      The officiant makes the wedding. Choose wisely. We certainly did.

7.      Do NOT subrogate your stress by eating 11 bourbon balls and expect to remain sober. You will not. Which, depending on your angle, may or may not be a good thing.
8.  A friend of ours asked to have a blog written about him, but didn’t give me anything to go on. So, Alex, until you do – here you go.

9.      The best tidbit I received is this. Relax and take it all in. After all, it’s about the marriage, not the wedding. The Wedding is frosting. The Marriage is the cake. If the cake isn’t good and exactly what you want it to be, no amount of frosting will fix it or make it better.
And I have to say, I think Carter and I have some pretty good cake to look forward to. J

(And now it the part where I realize, in some amount of horror, that I just told however many people read this blog [probably 9] intimate details of my potty routine on my wedding day.  The sad thing is, I’m not nearly as mortified as I should be. I liken it to Ginny Weasley snogging Dean Thomas in the Gryffindor common room in front of wizard and country and not being embarrassed. Only, whereas I was participating in an absolutely necessary activity, Ginny was just being stupid. And dating a git. And she should be ridiculously mortified for both. So maybe it’s not the same thing at all.)

Why yes, Sun Shower, that is General Sherman’s army marching down the ridge

It’s 3 days ‘til the wedding, kittens. It’s a funny time in my life. I’m up to my metaphorical lady-balls in stress and I may as well be delivering caffeine through a hypodermic needle. (I’d like to say I’m kidding, but….  Seriously, though. Do they make coffee IVs? If so, sweet mother of cheese, where can I get one?)


One of the more enjoyable things this past week, though, has been putting together the wedding slideshow. This means that I get to pore through pictures of Baby Me and Baby Carter, right on up to Current Me and Current Carter. I have determined that we went through this progression of development. (You know like bugs? Eggs, Larvae, Chrysalis, Adult? Didn’t you all take 6th grade science? Anyone?)
1.       Freakin’ Adorable Baby
Tell me I’m not the cutest baby ever to grace OshKosh B’Gosh with my body.
2.       Even freakin’ more adorable toddler

3.       Sassy and precocious child
“Bitch, please.” (I seemed to say.)

4.       Buck-toothed awkward “middle stage” (that is, quite literally, the best, kindest way to put it)
5.       Chrysalis (i.e. cocooned, but promising to emerge triumphant, i.e. “hot”)

6.       “Hot Damn, I’m the best looking highschooler I know”

7.       “Maybe I drink to much” (i.e. the first two years of college)

8.       I’m too old for this shit.  (i.e. the last two years of college)

9.       “Long distance relationship has made me sad. I will have a 4th brownie.” (i.e. I’m in a Long Distance Relationship and will therefore shame-eat anything that crosses my path. And now I’m chunky.)

10.   “Oo, oo, looky! I’ve been running lately and now you can see that I have a figure and am not smuggling hams out of the Piggly Wiggly under my shirt!”

(Note: Stage 10 began like a week and a half ago.)

Ok, so looking through pictures puts in perspective that yes, we all were ugly ducklings at some point. If you weren’t, you either need to:

a.       Smack some reality into yourself. HARD. (Do it. Do it now.)

b.      Stop reading this frickin’ blog right now because I don’t have time for your perfectness!

(Please don’t stop reading. I take it back. Maybe you are like Sofia Vergara and went from in utero to “OMG, OMG, I would kiss a girl if the girl was her” without any awkward phases.)

But what those pictures have done for me more than anything is remind me of some pretty awesome times.

(Note: in this picture, Kara is really into those Cheerios and I am having a stroke.)

Which brings me to the subject of this post. (I never get right to the point. You should know that by now. I like to tease it out, make you wait. It’s the least you deserve.)

There is a picture, which I am not posting in case the other people in the background read this blog and sue me.  (A girl can dream, right?) Anyways, in this picture, I am standing, staring at the camera, while  The American Civil War (War of Northern Aggression for those of you south of the Mason Dixon line) is raging behind me. LITERALLY.

How is this possible, you ask?

I have one of those dads that is obsessed with the Civil War. And, for the real ironic kicker, he’s a yankee. A proud yankee, I might add.

And what do Civil War buffs do? They go to reenactments.

And what do they do when they don’t want to go alone? They bring their spouse.

And when their spouse flat out refuses? They bring their kids.

How?

They bribe the little suckers with My Little Ponies.

Remember those?

That’s right, folks. My dad has taken me to nearly every Civil War battlefield within his grasp. And until I turned 10, he did it by bribing me with My Little Ponies. (After that, we just worked in cash.)

But, being the precocious (this means “pain in the ass” too.)little person that I was, I LOVED it. I loved it so much that I verbally harassed the other kids who were bribed similarly. It was like freakin’ Lord of the Flies out there at Antietam.

KID: Daddy, I’m scared. There are a lot of dead people out there. And what if we get shot. (Kid is sobbing, btw.)

6-YEAR-OLD ME: It’s not real, dummy. It’s called a re-enactment. It’s just pretend.

KID: How do you know?

6 YEAR-OLD-ME: Because I know everything. (Duh!)

I’m sure that at this moment, my dad was torn between lecturing me on why we don’t call people “dummy” and being so stinkin’ proud that his buttons popped off and blinded someone. (There are no middle grounds in my stories, remember? I paint in extremes.)

I would lean on the fence, clutching my new Pony in my hands, watching as the Confederate 7th Arkansas held down Peter Hill while Union Colonel Dan McCook’s Brigade moved forward along the Springfield Pike at the Battle of Perryville. (See that? Knowledge.)
(By the way, DON’T Google “Civil War My Little Pony” looking for cute pictures of Sea Winkle in a Confederate uniform. There are those pictures, don’t get me wrong. But they’re posted on white supremacist websites. LESSON LEARNED.)

We would watch the “dead” men baking in the sun and suspend our disbelief when we could see them sucking on a cigarette like the Rapture was coming. The cavalry was always spectacular, even though Sea Winkle was vastly superior in skill and beauty to the colonel’s horse, Trigger. (I have no idea if that was his real name. But it seems like a Civil-War-horse-y enough name, right?)

It’s one of those quirky things my dad and I did when I was a kid.

Most people thought it was unbelievably weird to take a 6-year-old to a re-enactment.

Other people thought it was inappropriate, that all of the fake violence would rot my brain. (Don’t you DARE say a word.)

But here’s the thing. I respect my dad for not giving a rat’s ass what those people thought. I sure as hell didn’t. I was something special that he and I did together that literally no one else I knew could say that they did with their dads. And that means a lot.
That, and it gave me one hell of a My Little Pony collection.
Okay. Okay. That’s not my pony collection. It’s this woman’s. But if my ponies were not in a Rubbermaid tub in the basement, that’s EXACTLY what they would look like. Flutter! Flutter!

 (My captions aren’t working to day, but this one says, “Hurry up, Dad, we’re going to miss the cavalry charge!)

Pony pictures were borrowed from these lovely people:
http://collectibles.about.com/od/toycollecting/ss/SDmylittlepony_2.htm
http://www.google.com/imgres?um=1&hl=en&sa=N&rls=com.microsoft:en-us&biw=1093&bih=510&tbm=isch&tbnid=4088fN3wKK0rbM:&imgrefurl=http://www.ebay.com/itm/LOT-7-MLP-MY-LITTLE-PONY-GENERATION-1-2-SUNNYBUNCH-UNICORN-/160605882071&docid=jbZCsGirpzoBlM&imgurl=http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn250/nutsonormal/06June1103/CIMG9700-1.jpg&w=1024&h=768&ei=yM0iUPTEHoKc8QSKk4HwDA&zoom=1