Thursday, September 28, 2006

Girl's Night Out

The phone call from my mother-in-law came as a surprise, but it was a good one. She explained that her husband was working late at the university, and she wanted to spend the evening with me since Jon was out of town, so she took me to Chipotle for $3 margaritas and 2 hours of girl talk. We followed it up with an hour of shoe shopping and then we stopped in at Target to rummage through the $1 bins.

I think we were both surprised at how much fun we had.

If Jon doesn't come back soon his mother and I may become a force to be reckoned with.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

All By Myself

September has become a hectic month for us over the last few years as we prepare ourselves for Jon's annual business conference. For me, it is more mental preparation, gearing myself up for a week of independence and living on my own. For Jon, it is packing, planning, and containing his excitement for the upcoming free stuff and nightly drinks with his colleagues.

The first year that he participated I was a young 21-year-old who had never lived on her own, not even just over night. We had been married for 2 months and a month of that had been spent with me fretting the day that he would leave. And on the day that he left, as I waved good-bye to him from the other end of the airport terminal, I fully expected that calling me would be at the top of his priorities. Company meetings, agendas, and even sleep would not take precedence over me. If there was a break between meetings, a few minutes after breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or if a chance for a restroom break arose, he was supposed to call me. His train of thought was supposed to constantly revolve around me, and the next time he heard my voice. At last that's what I thought, and boy, was I wrong! That first year that he left was also my first experience as Psycho Wife, and I repeatedly thank him for being so sweet as to not tell any of his buddies just how psycho I was, amidst my constant crying, depression, and threatening divorce with each long awaited phone call.

Last year presented me with my first, lonely, experience in our house, and to me, the first time that I had been alone overnight during which no one would hear me scream. I had learned how to control my emotions where our long distance relationship was concerned but I hadn't come to terms with not having neighboring apartments where good, scream-hearing, life-saving people lived. And it didn't help that commercials for The Exorcism of Emily Rose were being plastered all over the television. So, while there were a few nights of lying awake, wondering when someone was going to sneak into my bedroom and strangle me, or when evil spirits were going to take possession of my body, I did manage to survive and I eventually gained control over my fears as well.

And, of course, this year does not go without its very own firsts. This will be the first year that Jon will not, technically, be leaving me alone because we now have a dog. A dog who sleeps at my feet, under covers, and will bark and growl at the littlest sounds, perhaps convincing unwanted intruders that I am Emily Rose. And he's a dog who loves being talked to and cooed at so I don't have to feel like a complete loser when I have to say something, even if it's just to make sure my vocal cords work. This is the first year that I am not fretting anything at all. I've made plans with friends, invited my little sister over for a night of chick flicks and burritos, and I look forward to a few nights of just me and Jack. Sure, I will miss my husband while he is gone, but at least I don't foresee a resurrection of Psycho Wife. I plan to keep her under wraps forever.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Saturday Night Fun

Jon and I stopped by at his colleague's 30th birthday party last night. There was all kinds of fun to be had and it started with me, the girl who can't stomach beer, finding a brew that I could actually guzzle. (It's just my luck that the closest distributor is in Pennsylvania!) For the record I only had one, followed by at least 4 bottles of water as I sat around the wives table and we chatted about our weddings, houses, and husbands employer.

At one point 14 of us put some money on the line and had at a game of poker. We started with two tables, and merged into one when we reached eight people. I consider myself a pretty decent player but I have never played for money before and my stomach was in knots at the thought of just throwing it all away on a stupid game. So you can imagine my excitement when Jon and I were both at the final table, and then we were both in the final four. Sadly, I was taken fourth but Jon took second and won back both of our entry fees, plus $10! It's only disappointing when you think that first place walked away with $100, but at least none of that was my money. Honestly, I was just happy to have experienced those few rounds when an entire table of guys were fearing my next move.

Poker was followed by more beer around the bonfire, stories, laughs, and an all around good time. Boy, have I needed that.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Don't Be Afraid

The basis of our relationship could very well be that opposites attract. Jon is more the happy-go-lucky one. He's adventurous, extroverted, and willing to do whatever he has to in order to get what he wants. I like to consider myself the grounded one but I probably come off as more cautious than anything. I'm introverted, analytical, and known for picking apart his wants until they just don't sound like a bright idea. I think that's why buying a house was one of the more terrifying things I have done in my life.

And now you think I'm peculiar because buying a house isn't "terrifying". Skydiving, haunted hayrides, and walking in stilettos are "terrifying". It was scary because my 22-year-old self couldn't quite grasp the idea of doubling my rent payment. I couldn't comprehend a life without a handyman or a landlord to cover repair costs. And let's not forgot the added cost of heating and cooling a space that is triple the square-footage of our then two bedroom apartment. So when Jon approached me with the idea of home ownership I let myself dream a little (because life without the neighbor's wall-rattling music would have been wonderful) but I didn't get my hopes up. Buying a house, putting myself in debt for almost 30 years, didn't seem all that possible, at least not for a little while longer. But in the end I gave him the reigns, told him to start the process and we would go from there. I thought we could bide our time, wait until the perfect house came along. I figured it would take about a year.

Surprisingly, things moved at lightning speed which is when I am least able to comprehend what I am doing and therefore stressing out even more. Jon had us approved for a loan the next day. The day after that I was speaking to a realtor as I scanned websites of properties in our target areas. And the day after that we visited a few of those properties. I fell in love with the first house I saw but Jon said "Not so much," and we kept looking. Two days later we found the perfect house. And on my 23rd birthday we were writing out a contract, entering into a bidding a war that we would emerge from victoriously. Our realtor even provided pizza, balloons, and a birthday cake. I do not believe I will ever be given a larger or more expensive birthday gift than I received on my 23rd birthday--my very own house.

Considering I had convinced myself it would take about a year, I became a mental case when I was given 30 days to closing before which I had to gather all proof of my existence, have an inspector go through the house, inform the landlord we were leaving, pack up our apartment, and spend an entire evening doing nothing but signing stacks of paperwork. And I was frantically pinching pennies, trying to save as much money as I could, because I was still afraid of the costs. There are some things that you just don't know how it is going to work until you give it a shot and my problem was that I was very frightened of the unknown. I found solace in my newest CD at the time, Tori Amos' The Beekeeper, which was forever on repeat.

Apparently we did good and all my worrying was for naught. We moved out of the apartment and into the house without any problems and have been living very happily (without the neighbor's terrible music) since. And mostly I forget about how stressful it was and immerse myself in all of the benefits.

But while driving home today The Beekeeper shuffled it's way onto my iPod and I felt a hollowness in the pit of my stomach. All of the sudden something was effecting me, something was giving me the urge to burst into tears and I realized it was the music. A month of my life was spent listening to that CD and the most prominent emotion experienced during that month was fear. I thought it was amazing that music could have so much power over me. And I thought it was very sad that I let myself ruin what should have been an exciting time.

Monday, September 11, 2006


It has been 5 years and yet I still catch myself glued to the television, watching footage of the 9/11 attacks. It has been 5 years and it is still no easier to watch than it was back in 2001. I didn't lose anyone in the carnage, though there was initial fear for family in both NYC and Washington. And my heart aches each time I see the planes crashing into the monumental structures, the WTC collapsing, and the bold story of United Flight 93. I can not fathom what it must have been like to be there, covered in the debris, as your city appeared to lie in ruins. I'm so hurt and angry that it happened and that so many innocent people lost their lives and that so many families were broken for a reason that still eludes me.

I can only hope that one day the world will become a peaceful place.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Boredom Abounds

The Labor Day Barbecue went wonderfully and heading off to work this morning was not nearly as hard as I imagined it would be, though the day did seem to drag on forever. I took Jack for his 2 mile walk when I arrived home and have since been very lazy. And it's a strange sort of lazy as I actually want to be doing something but can't for the life of me come up with an activity. It's times like this that I wish I had taken that scrapbooking class or signed up for the softball league as I had planned.

Sadly, I don't have anything to write about either.

Sunday, September 3, 2006

Almost There

Well, after two trips to the market and nearly an entire day of readying the house for guests, I think we are just about set for this Labor Day barbecue. My "To Do List" is down from four little pages to one, and consists of:

  • Mow front lawn.
  • One more trip to the market, need: 1 large Hershey chocolate bar for bonfire s'mores and 2 bags of ice for coolers.
  • Sweep back porch.
  • Replenish toilet paper supply in both bathrooms.
  • Vacuum rug in family room.
  • Play chess.

All the while I am mentally preparing myself for the chance of rain. There is a possibility that 20-25 people could be traipsing mud all over my house tomorrow and delicious s'mores will have to go unmade. Here's to hoping that will not happen!

Welcome to My Little Crib

I recently caught myself watching MTV Cribs just to see what celebrities keep in their refrigerator. And I like the way they have an entire shelf full of their favorite beverage. It all looks so organized.