Monday, June 25, 2007

At the Very Least I Deserve a Back Rub

I did it! It's June 25, 2007 and I survived a very traumatic experience dubbed planning a baby shower. After much emotional debate 48 people were invited to my house, and I was banging my head against the walls as I tried to figure out where to put them. I gave a deadline of June 15 to R.S.V.P. and I had only 2 women call to confirm that they would be there. At this point I decided to go through the list of invitees and choose who I thought would show and who wouldn't. This technique had me down to 30 women. Would you believe that I was still off? I had a total of 25 people show, the original, desired amount of family and odd friends, with 5 of my sister's closest friends. And all those girls that I absolutely, positively had to invite because they already bought her gifts? Oh, yeah, they never came. I'm thinking that I didn't get the whole truth somewhere.

All bitterness aside, it was a good time. It wasn't exactly how I had pictured it as I thought it would flow a little more smoothly, but I was able to identify each lull very quickly and move on to the next game, or food, or even a joke. Yeah, people, I cracked jokes in front of strangers. I don't know what came over me.

Everyone thanked and assured me as they left full and happy, and I felt I could mark it down as a success. And just as my niece finished washing the last platter, and my little sister collected tablecloths that were in need of a good washing, and I stacked up the last folding chair I let myself breathe again, and then I felt like passing out. I was moments shy of giving the last of my family the boot so I could take off my ridiculously uncomfortable skirt and climb into my bed and sleep for the rest of the week. Unfortunately it was only 6:30 and just thinking about going to bed that early tends to give me a second wind, so instead, I sat down in my big, red, comfy chair and reflected on the last Month of Hell and how it all turned out okay.

Friday, June 22, 2007

The End In Sight

The baby shower is this Sunday. These last few weeks have gone much smoother than the initial planning. I had to give myself pep talks before embarking on each baby shower duty for a while, but eventually I realized that I am only one person, capable of doing only so much, and surviving only so many yelling matches with my husband over how much stress I am bringing into our home. Eventually I decided that I would do this thing with the little help and little resources that I had and that had to be good enough. I may not be up-to-date on my ridiculously anal to-do list but I was able to have a good time while baking banana bread and while wrapping mini chocolate molds shaped like bottles and rattles in sheets of tulle and tying them with ribbon. It's the little things that make me happy.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Love Letters


Our love began with a glance across a parking lot. You possessed me in just a few days. I remember long drives through the countryside, and long weekend getaways. But the years passed, and like the upholstery in the hot sun, your love began to fade. And now in a time when I need your care the most, you hit the blinker and turn away. And while our gas tank of love may be running on fumes, I still have plenty of love to share. So if you have a quart of tenderness left for me in your heart, take me back to Firestone Complete Auto Care.


Your 2003 Aztek

Dear Aztek,

I'm very sorry to be the one to tell you this, but I believe you have me confused with your previous owner. You see, it was not love at first sight for you and me. In fact I thought you resembled a garbage truck. I would not have given you a second glance if it hadn't been for my husband, Jon. He fell in love with you when he was able to fit comfortably into a vehicle for the first time, and boy did you ever rock his socks off when he discovered your center console doubled as a cooler. He was sold on you almost instantly but not me, although I have come to love you in time, my dear Aztek. You have great gas mileage for an SUV, you have retained your value quite well, and your oversized handles embedded in the dashboard are great for pretend machine guns.

I'm ashamed to admit that you have not seen many long drives through the countryside other than a weekend drive to Maryland, or the few times I've taken you on my commutes through Medina County which even you have to admit are NEVER FUN.

Mostly Aztek, I have to ask you to put an end to the melodramatics. The nice guys at NTB Tire have been treating you quite well. I just don't understand your obsession with Firestone. And besides, there is room for only one headcase in this family, and I'm sorry, but I was here first.



Thursday, June 7, 2007

A Few Points of Interest

My Sister's Baby Shower
--I don't mind having nearly all of my family's events at my house. In fact, Jon and I chose our house for the sole purpose that it could handle our extremely large families even though it feels far too large when it's just the two of us. I love to entertain, I love to put these things together, but only when it is my choice, my plans, and so far this baby shower hasn't involved a whole lot of my anything besides time and finances.

When I signed up for this I thought I would have a little more help particularly from my mother and older sister, both of whom have been conveniently absent up to this point (2 weeks away), and it feels like my little sister has fought me tooth and nail on the most crucial pieces. Mind you, my house is a pretty good size but can my living room fit 50 people seated? No. My idea of a baby shower and the guests, especially considering the size of our family, is 20 some odd family members, and 5-6 of her closest friends. But low and behold my sister is only 19-years-old and mentally she is not quite out of high school, and two days before her deadline to turn in her end of the guest list because I had to send out invitations, she brings a list of 30 friends and then she, also, conveniently disappears presumably to the same hole my mom and older sister have been hiding in.

I looked into halls for more room, I started crunching numbers, and in the end, I couldn't justify spending $300 dollars on a shower when my sister would ultimately benefit more if I just gave her $300 dollars cash rather than some cheesy little party. I took it upon myself to slash names from the list and I mailed the invitations. The next time I was able to reach my sister, a week later, I let her know what I did and all hell broke loose. Why? Oh, because she had already verbally invited every single person on her list, and according to her, some of them had already bought gifts. I tried to stand my ground, I tried to ignore the fact that I felt as if my own family was taking advantage, and weren't appreciative of anything I have done for the last 8 weeks. I tried to be civil and explain, step by step, why I had to do what I did, but it was to no avail. Eventually my mother called me with my little sister crying in the background, and while she wasn't particularly mean about it, my mom made me feel like I was being ridiculous and making far too big a deal out of it. I sent more invitations out the next day. 50 people have been invited to my house and I have nowhere to put the majority of them. I'm crossing my fingers that most of them won't show. And that's just sad.

New York City
--I'm told the original plan was for my mother-in-law to show up at my house the day of, tell me to grab my purse because we would be going somewhere, and surprise me with a trip to New York City. I guess she decided that you can't do that to people and so she called instead. She told me she found a great deal on an all-inclusive trip to New York, and she's been worried about me, and so she wanted to take me away to a place I've always wanted to go but probably never would on my own. Obviously I was interested and excited, that was, until she said it was on June 23 and 24. June 24 is the day of my sister's baby shower. I had to decline the best offer I'd been given in a long time because of a baby shower I wanted nothing to do with anymore. But apparently the trip is offered once a month, and so we started going back and forth about available dates: June 23-baby shower, July 13-we're both out of town, August 18-her retirement party, September 15-we're free! I'm going to New York in September! I'm going to New York without my husband who will return from a week-long business trip on September 13. I would be emotional about only seeing him for 1 out of 7 days but it's NEW YORK CITY!

The Family Reunion
--On July 7 we're all packing our bags and driving to Virginia where we will stay in the wilderness for 8 whole days. While my immediate and extended family, something like 75 of us, are all staying at the state park, Jon and I are sharing a cabin with just my brother and his girlfriend. We are looking forward to an entire week of the four of us 20-somethings doing whatever we want--swimming, hiking, fishing, canoeing, beer, bonfires, family, and friends. Is there a better combination? The only problem is July isn't getting here fast enough. Oh, please, July! Please hurry and rid me of this baby shower and let me escape to a cabin in the middle of nowhere! I'm begging you! I'm thinking it's going to be one awesome time.

Yeah, so, I'm sure there is more but I've run out of time. I'll try to keep you updated on my mental state which will most likely return to normal after June 24th.