On Robin Williams…

I’m not really ready to write about Robin Williams. I admire and envy those who composed such beautiful tributes last night. I’m not there yet, however. Last night, I grew more and more upset with every status and tweet I read. I couldn’t place it. Then, my friend Ellen wrote that, “It somehow feels in reflecting on Robin Williams’s death and, subsequently, his work, like we’re simultaneously (re)mourning the end of our childhoods.” She’s absolutely right. So, I’m mourning my childhood as I mourn the loss of such a bright talent. 

My husband and I were talking last night and we realized that there will never be a “new” Robin Williams movie to take our future kids to. There are the old ones, though. And they’re good enough. This is hardly comprehensive, but these moments used to make me laugh and cry. I’m glad that they still do.

 


And as so many have said, if life feels a little too heavy to carry, don’t drop it. Please reach out for a helping hand. If you know of someone who is hurting, be a friend.

On Anniversaries…

Today marks my second anniversary to one very special human being.

To Carter: I love you more today than yesterday and, if we’re being honest, I loved you more yesterday than the day before. Though, that could be because you were being especially difficult on Saturday. (I kid, I kid.) We were at a wedding recently (congrats Maureen and TJ!). In her vows, the bride said, “If I could give you one gift, it would be the ability to see yourself the way I see you.” I know you remember this, Carter, because that’s the part of the wedding where I burst into tears, which always makes you very uncomfortable. I cried because that’s exactly what I wish for you. We don’t live in in a wizarding sort of world, alas, and so I’ll have to make do with what we have. If you could see yourself the way I see you, you would see how kind, compassionate, loving, funny, and wonderful you are. You would see a man who people admire for his ethics and his compass. You would see a man who is brave in the way that counts. (You know, that Mufasa sort of way. We’ve talked about this dozens of times.) Above all, I think, you would see one of the most amazing human beings that I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. You’re tops, Carter, and I look forward to 6o anniversaries and beyond.  I couldn’t have picked a better partner.

To our family and friends: Thanks for loving us the way you do. Thanks for your support, kindness, and friendship. We love you very much.

To my friends who took bets that I would be pregnant by our second anniversary: Suck it. You all owe me $20.

And now, because I clearly haven’t posted enough wedding photos up here, I’m going to post some more.

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I know the best ladies around. Be jealous.

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Pre-bride

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Post-bride. This one always makes me smile. Glad that dress knocked you socks off, babe. 🙂

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Maid of Honor/Best Man “Let’s do these toasts!” high five, whilst I look on judgmentally. Proof: I have resting bitch face. EVEN AT MY WEDDING, I have resting bitch face.

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These faces kill me. Every time.

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We had some professional Wobbledancers on our hands. I refuse to say Wobblers.

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It’s easy to be married to you, Carter. And with friends like those ^, I’d say we’re pretty lucky. Happy Anniversary, Bird.

I’m in a glass case of anxiety.

I’m waiting for some rather big news about grad school. I’ve been waiting for 6 months for this news, but today is the deadline. As in…[source]

Now, because I am nothing if not a perfectly rational person, I have been coping with the stress by allowing my body to consume itself from the inside out, and not in that sexy, tapeworm sort of way. Rather, as my anxiety has reached a fever pitch this week, my body has reacted with insomnia, nausea, headaches, lightheadedness, and general misery.

And no, kittens – I ain’t pregnant. I checked. After all, taking pregnancy tests might be my superpower. I know, I know. It’s a huge sacrifice to do so much for the betterment of the world, but someone’s got to.

Anyway, life must go on, right? Even when waiting for news and chewing my fingernails off, I still have responsibilities to attend to. The art must go on.

I was painting this morning and watching The Golden Girls in the background. This is, normally, a perfect and amazing life choice. This morning, however, it was the episode where Sophia thinks she’s dying. That part isn’t as heavy as you’d expect. But then Rose tells Dorothy the story of her husband’s heart attack and how he asked her to dress him before the paramedics arrived and then they got in a fight because she was trying to put white pants on him in December and then he told her he loved her and died. And then Rose says, “I dressed him in gray flannel pants and a blue shirt. And he looked very handsome for the paramedics.”

And that’s the part where I started sobbing hysterically.

Let me tell you, my crying face makes Kim Kardashian’s look freakin’ gorgeous. Puckered lips. Swollen eyes. Snot bubbles.

I know. Gross. I’m just keeping it real for you. I’ll keep you posted with the news, good or bad. Until then, I can be reached on the floor, where I will be clutching a frantically-trying-to-escape labradoodle and sobbing hysterically, possibly screaming, “F*ck you, Rose Nylund! F*ck you, you beautiful, sensitive nitwit!”

See? Perfectly rational and even-keeled.

Happy Friday, y’all!

I am too “old” to “wedding”

Dear Self,

I am only just now able to stare at this screen long enough to write to you. After all, you and I have spent the last 36-48 hours hissing at sunlight or wearing sunglass inside the house. We’re not douchy. Just really hungover, self. I don’t know if you knew that. You probably assumed we were dying. Allow me, the more reasonable of our halves, to reassure you that we are not dying, just really, really dumb.

Just in case you thought that, just maybe, wearing your sunglasses inside the house was even a little bit cool yesterday, allow me to enlighten you:

 

Perception

Wonka 2

Reality

Wonka 1

Get it?

It would seem that we are entirely too old to do silly things like mix more than one type of alcohol in one evening or walk around barefoot. You f*cked up both of those things, self. Rookie mistakes. I thought you were better than that. I was wrong.

We both know that you are too old to party like you used to. For that matter, you are too old to “wedding” like you used to.

Before you start protesting that we’re not that old, I’m going to stop you. You’re right. We’re not actually that old. That said, we live the life of a quiet, stable octogenarian. We spend our evenings sipping Sauvignon Blanc and cross-stitching. We go on walks after dinner to aid with digestion. We fantasize – yes, literally fantasize – about going to bed before 10 o’clock and not having to put on pants in the morning. Truly, if we could get away with wearing a muumuu everyday, we would. You know we would.

We are best suited to Saturday evenings spent in Snuggies, eating fine cheeses, and watching Netflix.

Let’s face it. We are not a cute drunk anymore. Long gone are the days when we could giggle and half-whisper, “I’m so buzzed right now!” and it pass as silly and adorable and fun. I repeat: GONE.

Now, we corner people and drunkenly slur about the importance of proper pronoun usage when discussing or dealing with gender. We’re not wrong, self. We’re not wrong at all. But nobody wants to talk about masculine entitlement at a wedding. NOBODY.

Except us, apparently.

First of all, what is it with us cornering people and then dragging the mood way, way down? “Hi! Nice to see you! Are you having fun? Isn’t this such a great party? Filled with lighthearted revelry and joy? Let me talk to you about armored cavalry units in Vietnam! Did you read that article about the puppy born without his front legs and how sad he was until his family built him a little cart and now he’s only a little bit sad about not being able to jump on the couch but how they’re also building him a ramp so he won’t be sad at all anymore?”

Stop it. Just stop it.

Secondly, why can’t we ever remember that wine and weddings don’t ever mix? We have been to no less than 12 weddings in the last year. The ones at which we drank all the wine never led to good mornings the next day. Rather, they led to headaches, nausea, and threats of divorce.

We cannot afford for Carter to divorce us, self. We successfully deluded a man into thinking we are charming once. We won’t be so lucky again. Also, you remember what it was like to date. We don’t want to be out there again, self.

The rules are changing, self. When we were in college, the rules were simple:

1. Don’t die.

2. Get some nice dude you know to walk you home.

3. Don’t invite him in.

4. Eat a fistful of animal crackers and drink a big bottle of water before you go to sleep. (Because rule #1)

 

Now, however, the rules are long and many. And, after this weekend’s escapades, growing, apparently.

1. Drink more water than you drink anything else.

2. Wear close-toed shoes if you’re going to mainline all the wine. After all, if we’ve learned anything in life it is that door jams are not our friends. Neither are stairs. Or decorative armchairs. We should have listened, self. Then we might not be in this fabulously attractive boot from the doctor because we destroyed our pinkie toe.

3. Drink water more than you drink anything else. This is non-negotiable.

4. Eat the damned granola bar you brought. You have a gluten allergy. You won’t be able to eat the wedding cake. You might not be able to eat 50% of the dinner. That said, apparently, you will be drinking all the wine.  EAT THE LUNA BAR.

5. Pick a liquid and stick to it. If you’re going to be all naughty-feeling and drink bourbon, stick to bourbon. Do not think that your body is capable of withstanding a switch from bourbon to wine. It isn’t. You will regret it. For 3 days.

6. Did I mention water? Drinking it? Drinking lots of it? You forgot about it Saturday, self. I feel the need to drive it home.

7. You are and always will be terrible at The Wobble. Just come to terms with this. You can still do it, just stop making that ridiculous dance-y face.

8. You may or may not be responsible for your spouse now. Take turns being the responsible party. If it’s your night to turn into a shriveled mass of booze-soaked self-loathing, then your SO needs to stay competent and capable of the responsibility that is you. And vice versa. Communicate this arrangement early on. Stick to the plan. Or else you will end up as the one ordering pizza at 3am because you are only slightly more responsible, a task which you are just barely capable of completing. You will trip, you will break your toe, you will curse the day you got married and the marriage of the people who brought you to this lowly state tonight. And in the morning, you will both stare at each other and, with one eye squinted open, play “nose goes” for who has to go to the grocery store. Just because you’re stupid, drunkpants, doesn’t mean you don’t need groceries. We’re  f*cking adults, self.

I hope you’re happy with yourself, self. I tried to tell you that we should stick to the bourbon. I tried to warn you about putting wine down the hatch. I even tried to show you that we cannot, in fact, be taught how to “Dougie.” Look me in the mirror-eyes when I say this to you, self – you will never “Dougie.” Let the dream die.

And while we’re on this subject, stop making “Thriller” arms during The Wobble. Allow me to remind you:

 

Perception

Reality

Pull yourself together and bid a responsible farewell to your headstrong youthful stupidity. And say hello to fiber, probiotics, and the worst hangovers you have ever known to date. Let’s avoid that last one in the future, self? Shall we?

Sincerely,

Me

P.S. This is why we stay away from the animals after drinking.


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A Visit with the Ghost of Awkwardness Past

I was talking to a friend the other day. The conversation turned to our favorited books-turned-movies and, therefore, about some of our favorite actors-as-novel-character-hotties. You know, Tom Hardy as Heathcliff:

[Source] Really, Tom Hardy? With the smoldering stare ? Stop it. Just stop. *faints*


I mean, I realize that with Hardy-boy Heathcliff, you have to be able to get over what a deranged f*ckhead his character is, but I think that I have proven that this is no problem for me. Smolder, Hardy, smolder! The list also included Edwardian babe #1:

[source] Mr. Darcy #1. Colin Firth is the ultimate Darcy, but in a chaste, wholesome sort of way. To quote my friend, “Firth’s Darcy is the man I want to make me Mrs. Darcy…..”

  And Edwardian babe#2:

[source] “…..and, well, I just want MacFayden’s Darcy to make me Naughty Lizzie.” Right you are, my friend. Why yes, Lady Catherine, I SHALL pollute the shades of Pemberly thusly!

The Darcy Twins are hard to compete with, but my friend and I agreed that our first and, perhaps, forever leading-man-as-literary-hottie love will always be Christian Bale as Laurie in Little Women.

  What a sweet face. Except when he’s pouting, which, I’ve learned as an adult, he does for approximately 47.8% of the movie:

You’re welcome for all of this book-to-movie eye candy. That, however, isn’t really the point.

What was most interesting about this conversation was the moment where we both confessed to watching Little Women every single day after school for a year.

Every.Damn.Day.

For me, it became a grounding moment, an almost meditative action. No matter how terrible school was or how I’d been teased or bullied, I could come home and watch the March girls grow up. It was a perfect movie. I would argue it still is a perfect movie for adolescent girls and beyond. I wanted to be a Jo, even though I often felt like an Amy. This makes sense because, while I thought myself such the adult, I was actually 11 and, therefore, a giant pain in the ass.

  Little Women taught me about death:

  It taught me about the importance of following your own star:

  And it taught me that, somedays, your milkshake just isn’t bringing the boys to the yard and that that’s okay.

More than anything, however, I think it taught me that everything’s going to be okay in the end. For me, the message of Little Women was, “You’ll get there, girlfriend. Promise.”

Once I entered the tumultuous cesspool that is the seventh grade, however, Little Women wasn’t meeting me where I was anymore. Thus began my love affair with the dark siren that is Andrew Lloyd Weber.

I stole my grandparents’ VHS copy of CATS and watched that every day after school for a year. I was hormonally chubby and had acne, braces, and a haircut that can only be described as “of the criminally insane.”

Skimbleshanks mocked me with his plucky optimism and grooming. And while the Rum Tum Tugger caused many a stirring, I sort of hated him because I knew that, if I ever encountered him, he would politely sign my autograph and then go make out with Jenny and Dots. Those sluts.

But Grizabella? That bitch got me. Where the year before, the March girls and their unfailing optimism had bolstered me, in the darkness of seventh grade, “Grizabella let me lick my wounds bitterly in the dark alley of my soul.” (Note: Twelve-year-old me wrote that exact line angstily in a college rule notebook and I included it here for your reading pleasure. I have no shame anymore.) As such, I sang “Memory” in the shower every day.

I had lots of feelings in Middle School. Like you do.

This, my friends, is the ultimate bullshit of adolescence. In my twelve-year-old head, Grizabella and I were kindred spirits. “No one wanted to dance with me at the mixer this weekend, Grizabella. I bet no one wants to dance with you either because you’re a dirty, mangy alley cat.”

As an adult, my relationship with the Griz has changed. Now that I have had a small taste of the harsher truths of abandonment, loss, rejection, fear, and self loathing, I have a greater respect for her as a character. I also have a great desire to go back in time and backhand myself, screaming, “It’s not that bad, bitch! Just wait! You think missing Xenon: Girl of the 21st Century tonight was bad? JUST WAIT! You think you get Grizabella? You don’t get her! You don’t know her pain!” And then I’d slap me again because, as we all know, I am nothing if not measured and rational.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about younger me. This trip down memory lane, while EXTREMELY embarrassing, was a good one. After all, my new favorite mantra is, “How can one expect to become old and wise if they have not first been young and stupid?” (Tori Murden McClure)

So here’s what I’ve learned about younger me:

1. I was a bajillion years old even at twelve.

2. I was hardly the only one to have gone through a prolonged Ugly Ducking phase. (And, yes, Mom and Dad, that’s what it was. Your protests that I’ve “always been beautiful” are in vain. And yet, I love you so much for always thinking I was beautiful, even when I didn’t.)

3. At some point in everyone’s life (yea, dudes too), we will be Amy, Beth, Jo, or Meg. I’m in a Meg phase now. I’m not a huge fan, I’ll admit it, because Meg bores me with her stability and calm, but that’s what my life and its inhabitants need right now and so Meg shall I remain for a while longer. I feel a Jo phase coming on though.

4. A weird childhood and adolescence is the recipe for a vibrant adulthood, I think. Some of the most incredible adults I know were tragically weird in their youth. They’re still total weirdos,but it’s an evolved, comfortable, self-assured weirdness and I’m so thankful for them and all their moxy.

5. Sometimes you just need to revisit your old wounds. In revisiting our old wounds, we also remember our old balms. I’m going to watch Little Women tonight. I’ll cry like a baby for approximately 87.4% of it. When Beth dies, I’ll have to pause it, hug the dog, and sob for a little while. Then I’ll hit play again and watch as life goes on.

Because it most assuredly does.

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