Sunday, August 27, 2006

The story of them

My mom and I were talking the other day, and she was telling me about how she and my dad were out to dinner with some friends, and they got to talking about how each couple met and all that. I’ve heard the story before, but there was a twist to it that I’d never heard and I just had to post it.

My parents both grew up in Peoria, Illinois, but they went to different high schools so they didn’t know each other. My mom got married right out of high school, but her husband, Marty, was killed in a motorcycle crash nine months after they got married. She was a secretary at Bradley University, which was where my dad went to college, and so she had seen him there, but they never met, just knew who each other were. One night she was at Steak n’ Shake with a friend, and my dad was there with one of his friends, and so they got to talking. They were all going out to the same club, and so my mom and dad danced together, and they would see each other there on the weekends so they got to be friends. My dad asked her out on a date, and they went to a rock show. I said “Cool! Who’d you go see?” And she said “No. A rock show. Like with actual rocks.” Have I mentioned that my dad is an engineer? That should explain it. But he bought her a turquoise piece that could be made into a pendant, and it’s on her charm bracelet. Anyway.

They dated off and on for five years – not seriously, because they both went out with other people, but they really liked each other. Then my mom decided to move to California. My dad was bummed, but he wrote her lots of letters (which my mom still has) and called and came and visited her when he could. After two years, one day in August they were sitting outside my mom’s apartment in California, waiting for the bus to take my dad to the airport, and he says to her “How long are we going to do this?” She said she didn’t know – did he have any ideas? And he said “Well, we could move in together” and she said “Nope”. So he said “Well, do you want to get married?” And she said yes. So they decided to get married in January.

The part I’d never heard before was how he then had to go home and break up with the girl he’d been dating in Illinois for two years. I mean, she knew about my mom and my mom knew about her, but can you imagine? The guy you’ve been seeing for two years comes home from a trip and is like “I have to break up with you because I’m getting married.” WHAT? Apparently she didn’t take it well, as when my dad was trying to walk down the stairs from her apartment, she was holding onto his leg. She made not have gotten my dad, but at least she had her dignity. Or not.

This seemed so strange to me – I was like “Wait a second. Were you in love with him?” And my mom said “I loved him, but it wasn’t the infatuation of ‘first love’ I’d had with Marty. Your dad had been a committed friend and I knew no one would ever treat me as well as he did, and we were great friends.” And that she loved him more and more as time went on, especially after my brother and I were born, because she wouldn’t have had such wonderful kids without him. Aw.

My parents have been married for 33 years, and they’re still great friends. Now that they’re alone in their house, they do stuff together and with their friends all the time. They go see live music and to art shows and to dinner, and a lot of my mom’s stories will start out with “your dad made me laugh so hard last night…” I’ve never doubted for a minute that they didn’t totally love each other – they are affectionate and kind to each other, and they are excellent parents. They fight and get annoyed with each other too, but it would be weird if they didn’t.

I’ve said it before – I want a marriage like they have. It never occurred to me before how true the phrase “you should be friends first” is when it comes to relationships. There’s definitely something to be said for getting to know someone really well as a friend, and then if there turns out to be an attraction there too, even better. If sparks will fly, that’s awesome. But it’s the friendship that will take you through to forever.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Blah blee blah

Don’t you hate when you have things to write about, but you can’t because there are people that read your blog who you don’t want to know the stuff you’re writing about? Because maybe it’s about people you know that they know, or even worse, it’s about them? It’s times like this when I wish that I was a little more anonymous. But it is what it is, so I guess there are some things I just won’t write about. Sigh. But now where will I get valuable feedback and validation? Where, I ask you?! Just kidding.

Ok. So maybe brace yourself for some less than exciting tidbits from my brain.

So my mom is kind of a health nut and today she was all excited when she called me. When I was little, my favorite cereal was Alpha Bits. Go figure, right? Anyway, she found some that was made with whole grains and had zero grams of sugar. So she brought it over to my house and we opened it up and tasted it. GACK. It was seriously like eating cardboard. I opened my mouth and made the *gaaaaack* kind of noise and made my mom laugh, which is no small feat when all of your saliva has been sucked up by cardboard masquerading as cereal. So I am not recommending the whole grain no sugar Alpha Bits. What I will recommend is my mom’s delicious homemade black raspberry jelly, which she also brought me today. It totally made up for the gack-tastic cereal.

I would love to know why I don’t have a job yet. I’ve sent out a lot of resumes and applications and haven’t gotten anything back. It’s beginning to give me a complex. My one consolation is that my coworker hasn’t found a job yet either, so maybe it isn’t all about me.

I am sort of working. I’m helping out some friends by babysitting their 11 month old little boy three days a week. I love him. He’s the sweetest tempered baby, totally easy going, and of course, he’s adorable. However, he’s also at the point where he wants to go everywhere and put everything in his mouth on his way. So I spend a lot of time either making sure he’s not pulling himself up to a standing position using something that will fall over and crush him, or making sure he’s not eating paper or dog hair or something equally as appetizing. I also spend a lot of time carrying him around. He weighs 20 pounds and after the first day of toting him around the museum and the house on one arm and one hip, I was like “I’m 100 years old, because my back is KILLING me!” Other than that, though, I’m having fun with him. And I think the fact that I’m walking around like the Hunchback of Notre Dame will pass with time.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Not to toot my own horn...

So. I know I have tons of friends and family that love me. I’m blessed that way and I know that. But these trips with the kids always bring that back home to me because of how much they love me. Horn! Toot toot!

Maybe because when I’m home, I have all of these issues. Insecurities, worries, fears, whatever you want to call them. How do I look? My hair, my makeup, my outfit? Am I pretty enough? Am I saying the right thing? Am I sounding smart enough and funny enough? Blah blah blah – it goes on. Here’s where you have permission to agree that yes, I am a neurotic weirdo. Anyway.

But somehow, when I travel with the kids, all of that goes out the window. Part of it could be because when we go places on mission trips, we’re there for a reason bigger than any issue I could have back home. Part of it could be that no matter what, we’re going to be seeing each other at our worst. Sweaty, dirty, right before bed, right after we wake up, before we’ve showered or brushed our teeth, after we’ve showered, when we’re tired, when we’re sleeping – it’s all out there. There were girls from other churches on the South Dakota trip who would get up at 5 a.m. so they could shower and do their hair and makeup. My girls and I rolled out of bed at 6:45, which was when they rang the bell for breakfast. Because sleep is WAY more important. My girls worked their asses off – mowing knee high weeds, assembling beds – they were always the first to volunteer for a job, no matter how dirty or difficult it might be. While the girls who made sure they looked perfect sat in the shade of the bus. Clearly there for the right reasons. Not to say our boys weren’t the same – they were always right in there doing whatever was needed. I couldn’t be prouder of all of our kids. They seriously rock.

Anyway, back to the fact that I feel totally loved on these trips. We got these booklets from Jim (our leader) with really cool quotes in them and also blank pages so we could write notes to each other. I thought I’d share a sample of some of the notes I got:

“You complete me! This trip has had it’s ups and downs – well, just ups with you. You are one of the coolest people I have ever met and we have many more trips together still to come. This is only the beginning. I heart you!”

“You are my best friend, my sister, my mom (except for the old part) all wrapped up into one. It’s crazy on mission trips just how close we get and I feel that with you a ton. I just don’t know what I would do without you. I WUV YOU!”

“This trip has been one of the best by far and without you it would have sucked! You’re the coolest leader just ‘cause you’re FUNNY – you’re one of us but you can also teach us life lessons. I honestly don’t know where I’d be without you.”

“I don’t know how I would survive without you! Thanks for always being such a great listener and such an inspiration – you have made an impact on me and you will always have a special place in my heart!”

“It was so fun and I can’t wait until next year – it’ll be so fun! Don’t forget to send me that zombie thing.”
(I had to put that in there because what trip with 14 year-old-boys is complete without the mention of zombies and/or ninjas? None.)

Those kids? Make my life a million times better than it ever would have been without them.

Monday, August 14, 2006

My Grand Social Experiment into the Lives of Perverts

So the other day, P.I.C. and I decided to conduct a little social experiment. Maybe a little eeeeee-vil social experiment.

I know most of you haven’t been living under a rock, therefore you know what CraigsList is. I’m not a huge fan – it’s not that I don’t like it, it’s just that I don’t spend a lot of time looking at it. However, it’s one of P.I.C.’s guilty pleasures, and so he’ll often send me the links to, um, interesting postings.

We were on the phone on Friday afternoon, and I was telling him about how, a couple days previously, I had posted a fake ad on “casual encounters” and how it was crazy how many responses I got. It wasn’t a dirty ad, I just posted more out of curiosity -- you know, to see how many responses I might get. I had gotten about 120 before it was flagged and removed (apparently not pervy enough? Who knows) so P.I.C. and I decided we might kick it up a notch and try again.

And so. We composed an ad that we hoped would generate some interesting responses. According to my CL posting, I’m a 26 year old lonely married girl looking for some “discreet, no-strings-attached” fun. Because (boo hoo) my husband just doesn’t pay enough attention to me, and hey, a girl has NEEDS. We then added the piece de resistance, the random nipple picture that we found through the magic of search engines.

The listing specified that I wanted to hook up on Friday afternoon, and that it would have to be at the home of the magical random who was going to satisfy me beyond my wildest dreams. And so pretty much as soon as it got posted, the emails started pouring in. To my fake email address, created for just this occasion.

If you’ve looked at CL “casual encounters” pretty much EVER, you might notice that there seems to be a predominance of pictures of, um, packages. So P.I.C. and I were thinking that a post from someone wanting no strings sex might generate a lot of package pictures. Nope. I got a lot of pictures, but most were actual face pictures. Don’t get me wrong, I did get package pics as well, and OF COURSE a lot of emails lauding their,ah, oral abilities and the fact that they have a six inch (but OF COURSE usually larger) pleasure stick, but face pictures were a twist I didn’t expect.

Anyway, I was going to post some of the best responses, but the sheer volume of emails I got prevents me from going back and finding the good ones, and of course I didn’t have the presence of mind when I got them to keep them for the amusement of you, the readers. But again, much to my surprise, a lot of the guys seem to be looking for someone to “get to know” and THEN hook up with. Which to me seems to defeat the purpose of both a “casual” encounter AND no-strings sex. But maybe I’m missing the logic here. Most of the emails were pretty basic, although some included detailed descriptions of what they’d like to do to the married girl. Dirty. And some included pics that were certainly not of them. I mean really. I watch "The Dead Zone" on USA. I know what Anthony Michael Hall looks like now. That picture? Is of him. And some? Well, some were so badly misspelled and featured such atrocious grammar that I was almost hoping that their skills in the bedroom were as good as they claimed, because it was clear they didn’t have much to fall back on.

As of this morning, I have received 232 responses (and, just FYI, I didn't actually respond to any of them. Because as you know, I'm not 26 or married or looking for no-strings sex or desperate enough to post for real in "casual encounters). There are apparently a LOT of men (and a few women and some couples) in the metro area looking for a hook-up with a 26-year-old lonely married girl. And who don’t seem to have a grasp of what “Friday afternoon fun” really means, since it’s now Monday morning and I’ve not only kept receiving emails all weekend, but I've gotten at least three more emails in the time it’s taken to write this post. Actually, I just now got one of a guy who is totally naked except for his shoes and socks. Why wouldn’t he take off his shoes and socks? That’s not sexy! That’s just lazy! Anyway.

I’ve noticed that for many of the people who answered the post that the fact that "I'm" married is like the biggest selling point. I’m not sure which is more unsettling – the fact that they get off on that, the fact that they’re actively looking for it, or the fact that a large number of respondents are also married. As it turns out, maybe not all the good ones are taken – they’re just secretly answering casual encounters posts on CL…

Friday, August 11, 2006

Hey motherf***er! Get laid! Get f***ed!!

Ha! I’ll bet THAT caught your attention, especially since most of my posts lately have been about you know, church-related stuff. However, as you may or may not know by now, I can’t be appropriate ALL the time!

So the title refers to the fact that I went to the Billy Idol concert the other night. Yeah, you heard me – Billy. Idol.

Karen heard that he was coming to town and she mentioned it to me, and I was like “that would be cool” and then the next day I got a message from her saying that she had bought tickets and I was going. Ok then. I was excited, because I don’t always have a chance to wear a lot of extraneous black eyeliner and really, what better event to do so than a Billy Idol concert? There isn’t one, especially when you’re 30 and it’s not Halloween.

The other exciting part of this was that I knew there would be some Billy Idol superfans there who had totally seen him back in the 80s. And chances were, they’d probably be wearing similar outfits from when they saw him back then, and I do love to mock people’s outfits! What? I mean, I love to see people who are die hard fans of a musical icon. I wasn't disappointed. Lots of big hair on old ladies. Good times.

So Karen and I and her husband John and his work buddy Chris headed to the concert. After a few margaritas, because that’s how we roll. We got there and because it was like 90 degrees outside, inside the concert it was 6, maybe 700 degrees. Pleasant. You know, if you like to sweat profusely at all times. The boys went to buy beer and so Karen and I were trying to find a place to stand. We were walking to this aisle, and this guy let us cut in front of him, and so I was like “sorry about that” and he’s like “don’t apologize – what do you have to be sorry about?” And so I said “well, we totally just cut you off”, and so he says “well if you’re that sorry, why don’t you kiss me?” Uh, what? And so I said “Yeah. I’m only sorta sorry”. Luckily he laughed and didn't push for the kissing. Blech. Anyway.

Billy played a couple of new songs, but he also played most of his old stuff. White Wedding. Rebel Yell. Dancing with Myself. The most awesome version of Eyes Without a Face EVER. Which I love, because it totally reminds me of when I was little. And of course, Mony Mony, which is what the title of this post refers to, because apparently that’s what you yell as loud as possible. Like this: “Here she comes now, singin’ mony mony” then: “Hey motherf***er get laid, get f***ed!!” Now you know what to do if you ever find yourself at a Billy Idol concert. It’s clearly a very family-friendly show.

The man is 51. And he looks GOOD. Like he took off his shirt (of course he did) and he has this nice toned chest and it was all smooth and sweaty and his arms look all muscle-y and hot and I asked Karen if it was wrong that I thought he looked so smokin’ and luckily she said no because she thought so too, not that I would have cared because I also have sort of a crush on Tommy Lee, but really that’s neither here nor there. The one disappointment was that his hair wasn’t platinum. But it was just a small disappointment. And also he didn’t play Cradle of Love, which was also a little sad, but I got over it.

One of the best parts was that for once in the recent past, we weren’t the oldest people at the concert. By far. John and Chris were on another beer run and of course while they were gone, this weird drunk old guy comes and stands next to Karen and directly in front of me, and he keeps edging closer to her while also completely smushing me back into the railing behind me. Finally John and Chris came back, and I pulled Chris over and pointed out the Space Invader, and he laughed until the guy started crowding him. Chris kinda pushed him forward in a fakely jovial way, but the guy totally ignored him as he kept “dancing” closer to Karen. Now. Back in the younger days, Chris would have probably decked the guy when he didn’t get the first hint. Because he and John are not small guys. But instead he’s like “watch this” and he says something to John and John looks over and then he pushes past the guy and when the guy looks at him like “dude, I was here first”, John is like “hey buddy – I just wanted to come stand by my wife” and he kisses Karen, so Chris and I are totally laughing. The drunk guy played it off for about two seconds and then he left. Way suave.

So yeah. We had a great time. And because we’re mature adults, we listened to (and sang) Eminem’s “Shake That” at extremely high volume most of the way home. We may be 30 chronologically, but there’s just some ways in which we patently refuse to grow up. And also? We’re total rockstars – just ask Billy Idol. He knows from rockstars, you know.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Camp is all about...

...Amazing sunsets...
... Gorgeous Scenery...

...And the best friends ever...

...Don't you wish you were there?

*For more camp pictures (you know you want them!!) click on the new Flickr box to the right*

Friday, August 04, 2006


...for all the advice for Em. Whether she takes it or not will remain to be seen, but at least now she knows that Mollie and I aren't crazy. At least not when it comes to this particular subject.

So I just thought I'd let you all know that I'll be posting some pictures from camp this weekend. Because I KNOW you've all been waiting with bated breath. Right? Ha.

Happy weekend!!