Friday, September 28, 2007

Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday.

Yesterday was my 10th wedding anniversary.

The first thing that always comes to mind when I tell people about my anniversary is that I’ve been married longer than my birth father’s 5 (or is it 6?) marriages combined. That might be a slight exaggeration, but only slight.

Ten years is a long time to be married these days. And I’m proud of that. I’m proud because my parents didn’t make it three years, and have each been married multiple times, yet I managed to figure it out and make the right choice. I’m proud because I couldn’t have picked a better human being to spend my life with. He hates it when I say this, but Bret is truly a better person than I will ever be. I am selfish, moody, loud, prone to self-pity, and a host of other unattractive traits. He is none of those. I’m proud because the 10 years has been almost entirely delightful. That might be a slight exaggeration, but only slight.

Anything else I say about my marriage is going to sound cliché. I am married to my best friend. We make each other laugh. He snores too much. I nag too much. He’s a fabulous father. All true.

When we went on our honeymoon, I got the biggest kick out of using the word “husband.” I felt both too young to have one (ha – at 28) and old for having one. And I would say to Bret in my best Butthead voice, “You have a wife. You’re married.” It just seemed strange. We knew each other for 5 years before we got married and to call this funny, caring, silly, smart guy my husband cracked me up for some reason.

I’m used to it now. I’m proud to call him my husband (oops, another cliché).

How did we mark the occasion? I got roses (very lovely, I’m enjoying them right now), he got a card. We decided that the appropriate gift for year 10 is “Air” – we replaced our entire heating and air conditioning system last month and it cost more than the first 3 cars I owned. Bret had class last night, so I spent the evening with Lauren, then watched the season premier of The Office after she went to bed. Tomorrow we’re going to a winery about an hour and a half away – no baby! First time in ten months that we will have been alone (not including the time I took him to the emergency room a few months back). I’m very excited for my date.

So, here’s to 10 years. Your contract’s been renewed, Chief. Keep up the good work.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

It’s taken 3 visits to 2 different doctors in 2 days but we finally have a diagnosis—ear infection. The first doc said Lauren probably just had a virus and sent us home. Luckily the second doc caught it and now she’s got some antibiotics. I’m hoping she’s feeling better by this evening. She (and by extension, we) haven’t gotten much sleep the past 3 nights. Her fever’s been as high as 105. It’s heartbreaking to see her suffer.

Thanks for your rallying cries of “no guilt!” I guess now I feel not so much guilt as I just wish I could be with her. I know she’s fabulously well cared for by Grandma, despite her (Grandma’s, not Lauren’s) hysterics (and it’s not just me saying that; she told Bret today she’s been a “basket case” over Lauren being sick). I just want to be the one cuddling her (Lauren, not Grandma) when she’s not feeling well.

And this is just the first of 18 years of illnesses…

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Worst. Mother. Ever.

I left my kid at grandma’s. With a fever. It’s not terribly high, and she’s had some Tylenol, and she has no other symptoms, and she ate her breakfast with her usual gusto. But still. I know there’s nothing I can do for her that grandma can’t do, but I still cried when I walked out the door. Oy, the guilt.

And, it’s compounded by the fact that last night she woke up crying and I was adamant about not picking her up and rocking her. Because she has been known to cry for a long time in order to get what she wants – someone to pick her up and rock her, whereupon she will fall peacefully back to sleep with a smug little grin on her face. And then after you put her to bed, a few hours later she’ll wake up again and start the whole thing over. So we quit picking her up in the middle of the night to teach her that she needs to go back to sleep on her own. I thought she was just being particularly persistent with her crying last night, but after an in-bed argument with the hubby (he wanted to rock her; I said no way), he went in to get her. He rocked her for a while, then I heard him head down the hall and into the bathroom. He was getting the thermometer and of course, she had a fever (100.6). So I felt like quite the Mother of the Year. We gave her some Tylenol and she was up for another hour or so before going back to bed until 6:00. Her temp was down to 100.2 this morning – the Tylenol had worn off so we gave her some more and I took her to grandma’s. Who, by the way, looked at me like I had two heads when I told her Lauren had a fever. In the whole Good Witch/Bad Witch scenario, I am clearly the Bad Witch. Glenda the Good Witch would NEVER have left her children when they were well, let alone when they had a hot little forehead. The Bad Witch has copy to write so she can help pay the mortgage.

The smart ladies over at
Working Mothers Against Guilt would tell me it’ll be okay and not to fret. It’s not like Lauren’s puking her brains out or dealing with a raging case of the flu. Can’t help it. I still feel guilty.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Reunion Recap

* Detail from the band uniform I wore (1983-1987); the same style worn by my aunt 10 years earlier and my mom 10 years before that.

I had a blast. It was truly far more fun than I imagined it would be. I’ll start at the beginning. I got there late. I thought it started at 7:30, so I arrived at 7:45. It actually started at 6:00. My friend Scott, who I had threatened within an inch of his life to be there or else, just about killed ME when I finally walked in. He said he’d tried saving two seats forever and finally gave up and gave them away. No biggie, I didn’t end up sitting down for another 3 hours because I was too busy running around and hugging people and talking to them. Actually, people were coming up to ME, which I found kind of strange. I wasn’t the most popular person in high school; I mean, I think people knew who I was because I was in a lot of activities and because I’m 6’0” tall and kind of hard to miss. But I just don’t think of myself as the kind of person other people flock to, and certainly wasn’t in high school. Anyway, it was just nice. Not only did I talk to people I’d been good friends with but hadn’t seen in literally 20 years, but also childhood friends who I didn’t talk to in high school because we’d drifted apart, joined different circles. That was just as nice.

I talked to so many people. My dear band friend Scott, who lost most of his hair and is even funnier than he was in high school. We talked about our mutual love for
David Sedaris and hate for Republicans. I saw Brenda, another band buddy who is now divorced and has been living with a woman for the past 9 years (Scott still thinks it’s a “phase.”) I saw Jennifer, who I went to summer camp with every year, and who I played Barbies with, mostly at her house because she had a room just for her Barbies and their accessories (including the coveted Townhouse). Her house was so cool (her dad was an architect; one of the few dads with a professional-type job). I saw Liz, a lawyer who now stays home in Connecticut with her 9-month-old daughter (that was the other thing—how many people have babies and kids under 5—I thought for sure I’d be the only one that didn’t have teenagers). I saw John and Tricia, who I’ve known since before I can remember. He had a George Hamilton tan and still wears sweater vests; she had the same haircut. They are still best friends. I saw Mel, who’s in much better shape than she was in high school. She has 3 kids and is married to a farmer, and she is raking in the cash doing pharmaceutical sales. I saw Mark, my Hearts Dance date, now an optometrist and father of two. He said I looked exactly the same, god love him. I saw Connie and Troy, friends from band and church who’ve been together for probably 23 years and have 5 kids. She’s the music director at the church I grew up in; he’s lost most of his hair and reminds me of his dad. I saw my elementary school friend Terri, who was a “C” cup by the time we were in the fifth grade. She married a guy named Terry. I saw Missy and Leslie and my cousin Shanna, all from Girl Scout Troop 473. We laughed remembering all our times camping together as little girls and then teenagers, the number of times Shanna’s mom, our troop leader, yelled at us in her raspy smoker’s voice for the hours we spent talking instead of sleeping.

There were people that weren’t there I would’ve liked to have seen. Mostly Laura, my high school BFF whose Christmas cards are now my only contact with her.

There were moments of weirdness, like seeing Angel, a girl I’d admired in the first grade because she wore cute little smocks with cartoon characters on them (my mom never let me wear clothes with characters on them, something for which I am now grateful). She was probably the most popular girl in my class, had always been popular even back in elementary school. She was very nice to everyone and, of course, the head cheerleader our senior year. Everyone loved her. I really didn’t speak to her by the time high school rolled around; she was a cheerleader and I was a band and choir kid. She married a guy from the class ahead of ours shortly after high school, but it ended quickly in a nasty divorce. I was so surprised that she approached me, gave me a big hug and said she was so happy to see me, that she always wondered what had happened to me. She is remarried and has three kids and lives in Columbus (one of about 4 people I talked to that night who doesn’t still live in our hometown or at least in the same county). She looked exactly the same, except for the deep wrinkles on her forehead and around her mouth. (She was very tan and always had been. Let that be a lesson to you, girls: wear your sunscreen)

That’s the other thing—the way people looked. A couple of people looked exactly the same. Most people looked like an aged version of their high school selves. And then there were several who looked nothing like they did in high school. I spent a good part of the night with old friends playing “who’s the guy” (as in “who’s the guy in the blue shirt…” “who’s the guy in the suit…”). Eventually one of us would figure it out and the whole group would yell out “OH!!!!” All of this, of course, was fueled by much alcohol. The best place to stand was back by the bar, so I could talk to everyone as they waited for a drink. (I had three vodka tonics on an empty stomach, which might explain why I had such a good time.)

Leading up to the night, I had some attitude about it, thinking that I had something to prove, that I needed to show I was now better than “them,” and that “they” should feel bad for making me feel “less than” back then. I had none of those feelings that night. I was amazingly unselfconscious. Just genuinely pleased to see people. It was nice to see everyone paired off, with families and jobs and homes. The squirrelly little kids who did goofy things like toilet papering each others houses, now all grown up. It was nice to see us excited to see one another, despite all the years that had passed. Even the popular kids, the party kids, seemed nicer (although the really hard-core ones stuck together and didn’t make an effort to talk to anyone else; I’m quite certain they all see each other regularly, all still drink together). Even so, I found it amusing and rather endearing, instead of annoying. Good for them—they found their people back in the day and have remained loyal to them ever since.

Lots of my friends now tell me that they give me credit for going, that they couldn’t imagine going to their high school reunion. Too many bad feelings about that time, or feeling too much like a loser now. I do understand that. But I highly recommend going. If the too-tall band geek can go and have a good time, anyone can.