Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Seven Years Ago Today

In May 2001, my beautiful sister got married. It was on this fateful night that I would meet my future husband and father of my children. I couldn't possibly have known that, however, because the guy I met had long curly hair, a dragon shirt, a leather jacket, and flames on his shoes.

I was an 18-year-old cheerleader who was about to graduate high school and my idea of being crazy was drinking too much soda. Leather jackets? Flame shoes? Long hair? These things did not define normal in my book. Nevermind the fact that I had a boyfriend.

Several months later, I would meet this strange guy again at, of all places, my grandparents house. It was August and I was about to go dorm accessory shopping with my mother. My sister and her eccentric friend were headed to the mountains for some camping and for whatever reason we all met in the middle. That day, I left my grandparents house knowing I was in trouble. This guy was charming, he had the brightest smile I'd ever seen, he was no longer sporting flame shoes. We clicked instantly. But, I still had a boyfriend.

After the candle blew out on my previous relationship, I let my sister know that I thought her friend was cute. I was shocked when he called, and after a few dates I was completely smitten.

One night I had a dream that I was in his apartment (which I'd never seen) and there were marshmallows everywhere. On the counter, the stove, covering the couch and the floor, positively everywhere. Now, I'm not much for astrology, dream interpretation, matters of the cosmic kind. But, I decided to research the meaning of "marshmallow" in a dream dictionary. The definition I received was something to the effect of meeting an unusual friend of the opposite sex. We both had a good laugh.

Which brings me to one year ago today. Thanksgiving 2001. I spent the holiday with my family while my future husband ate burnt turkey legs alone. Although in the previous couple of weeks he'd determined I lived too far away to pursue a relationship, we decided to get together that night.

My bright idea? To come bearing gifts. Marshmallows to be exact. The problem? Most stores prefer to give their employees Thanksgiving off. So, I went to the only open store I could find, K-Mart. They did not carry marshmallows. But, they did have the next best thing. Dinner mints.

That night, after enjoying a movie, good company, and some laughs over dinner mints, we both agreed to pursue the relationship, distance be damned. The rest is history. But that's how it started. A squeaky clean teenage girl diving in head first with a not-so-eccentric boy, dinner mints in hand.

And today, I give thanks for all that followed. And all that's to come.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Too Much, Too Soon

I am a firm believer that Christmas tidings should be strictly reserved to the time frame of The Day After Thanksgiving to New Years Day. This is the rule. It should not be broken, and I cringe when it is.

I broke my own rule.

In an attempt to get Liam, who at 2-1/2 is assumed to finally be old enough to "get" Christmas, excited for the holiday, we may have started the season a bit too early. My evidence?

Exhibit A: While traveling down the street he notices "Christmas" on other peoples houses (the lights other people, who have also broken the rules, prematurely hung). He gets excited, until we pass and he whines for Christmas to come back.

Exhibit B: We've already read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas enough times that he has it memorized.

Exhibit C: One morning last week he woke before I left for work. I asked if he'd like to go downstairs to wait for Grandma. He replied, "No, let's do Christmas first."

Exhibit D: How the Grinch Stole Christmas mysteriously appeared in Liam's book collection. Yes, we had this book last year, but I really thought I'd stashed it somewhere, because you know, no Christmas before Thanksgiving! (Apparently I didn't apply this rule to Exhibit B, however.) You try explaining to a 2-1/2-year-old why the Grinch is mad.

Exhibit E: He's been sleeping with a Santa Claus stuffed bear, and one Santa Claus slipper he found in his closet. They are apparently "Mommy Christmas" and "Baby Christmas."

Now, a month is an awfully long time for a kid to have to wait for such excitement, and I'm already burnt out on reading 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, and explaining that "No, we cannot do Christmas before Grandma shows up for the day." Let's just hope that Ho Ho Ho doesn't become Ho Ho Humbug!

Next year, I'm sticking to my rules.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Working It Out

I had a baby, relatively recently. And he's really cute. But he's on the outside now. And, my company has a free gym. And, they offer classes. And, I have a co-worker who signed me up for the daily calendar reminders of said classes. I have no more excuses.

Attempt 1: I'm PUMPED! I shaved my legs in the shower, I gathered up my super spiffy workout clothing, I have chosen a class to start with (yoga), I have carefully studied the class schedule to be sure I don't show up at the wrong time. I am psyched, ready, all systems are a go!

I excitedly announce my co-worker that TODAY I am going to start participating in the workout classes!

"Oh," she replies. "The instructor is out today."


Attempt 2 (two weeks later): It's yoga day again. I love yoga, I'm sticking with this as my introduction to fitness classes. I'm invited to Body Sculpt with my co-worker, but NO, I want yoga! I give myself plenty of time to dress. I've got the whole locker room to myself. Nice! I saunter up to the gym, and enter as all the Body Sculptors come streaming out. Suckers, I think. Yoga is SO much better! I meet the instructor. She explains that she isn't sure anyone else is coming.

What? But what does that mean?

No class.

So there I stand, in my yoga pants and socks, waiting around like a fool for fellow yogaers that aren't going to come.

"Well, there's lots of machines to use," the instructor suggests apologetically.

Thanks. I didn't even bring shoes.

I trudge back to the now full locker room, and do my best to blend in. Maybe they won't notice that I was just in the gym and came back without doing anything.

Attempt 3: This is the day that the calendar invites start coming. Crap. It's on my calendar now. I can't ignore incessant reminders at 15, then 10, then 5 minutes before the start of class. I could have ignored the invite, but, well, I DO need to go. Okay. I'll go.

I show up to a locker room full of female co-workers that I don't know eyeing me with that familiar glare of "Who the hell are you?"

I get changed, head toward the gym, and realize that I didn't bring my badge to open the door. I stand awkwardly at the door waiting for the next gaggle of stranger co-workers to come through and let me in. I stare at the bulletin board as they walk past, as if I meant to do that.

It's a step class. I haven't been to a step class in years. I grab too many levels for my platform, despite warnings, and go about my business. Class starts. I'm dying! I don't know what I'm doing. Step left, scissor over, rotate back, Charleston left. WHAT have I gotten myself into.

At the end of class, I glare into the mirror at my tomato red face and think to myself back tomorrow?

Yes. I begrudgingly think back. Back tomorrow. It'll be on my calendar after all.