Monthly Archives: June 2014

The Ruse

It was Thursday, June 19th, 2014. I was looking forward to seeing all my friends and celebrating The Boyfriend’s birthday but at the same time I wasn’t looking forward to spending any time walking around because of my injured knee. I knew this wasn’t something I could bail on though, so I got ready to go to the party.

It had been a frustrating morning, the dress that I wanted to wear didn’t fit right and I ended up wearing capris instead. Once I got to the train station I realized it was cooler out than I had initially thought and wished I had worn pants instead. Then I noticed that my nails were all chipped. I complained to The Boyfriend because I had just done them myself a few days beforehand. Grudgingly I got out of the car to head into work, a black cloud over my head.

At work I got a text from The Boyfriend. He told me that I should get my nails done on my lunch break to cheer myself up – his treat. I thought it was super sweet of him but declined his offer since I never get my nails done in the city and wouldn’t want to miss eating lunch. Upon reflecting on his generosity I thought could this be it? Is he planning on proposing? This being the day of his party I knew it wouldn’t be today. Maybe he has something planned over the weekend? I couldn’t pinpoint when he would do it, so I decided to indulge in gels – it was his treat after all. I still thought that paying $40 for a manicure was excessive; especially since a regular non-gel one is $14 at the place I wanted to go. But, I wanted my nails to look nice for two weeks (as is the promise with gel manicures) so I decided it was worth the indulgence. Luckily, I got off work early and called Uber for a ride to the place.

I got in the Uber car and my heart was pounding. Could it really be happening? Maybe I should tell the Uber guy? I decided against it, after all, I didn’t want to jinx anything and there have been plenty of times that I thought it was going to happen and it didn’t. So I keep my mouth shut. I get to the salon and sit down to be pampered. Maybe I should tell the manicurist. After all, I’m here because it might be happening soon. But again, I decide to keep my mouth shut. No point in getting all excited about something that could be happening in the next few days. Plus the woman I got only spoke snippets of English and I didn’t want to get into it. My mind was racing the whole time the manicurist was working. Still, I didn’t let my hopes get up too high.

When my nails are done I text The Boyfriend to pick me up. Once in the car, we head over to the vet to pick up Dib-Kitty who had to have his teeth cleaned. Poor kitty was not happy with us. On our way to pick him up The Boyfriend informs me that Dib-Kitty needs to stay in isolation for 24 hours to keep track of how he is recovering. So I suggest that we stop at the store to pick up a disposable litter box. The Boyfriend gives me a look, but stops anyway and I tell him he should pick up Gatorade as well. After all, it’s his birthday party and overindulgence in drinks is a very likely situation. I wanted him to have something to help with his likely hangover tomorrow morning.

We get home and The Boyfriend sets up Dib-Kitty’s isolation in my library while I get changed. I give Zim-Kitty his medication (that is supposed to make him less of a jerk but isn’t working as of yet) and prepare all the kitty food with Gir-Kitty meowing obnoxiously loud. I feed everyone and at this point my parents have arrived. I ask Crazy Lady to help me move the books on the floor of the library onto the shelves. After all – Dib-Kitty just had his teeth cleaned and a possible side effect of this is vomiting. I don’t want cat vomit on my books. Books are precious. So Crazy Lady and I work on putting the books on the shelves as quickly as possible. The Boyfriend shouts up the stairs to tell us that it is time to go. I hurriedly put the last few books on the shelf and hobble down the stairs.

We get to Murphy’s, our favorite bar, and settle in. I decide that I am up to the challenge of an open bar ($25 for four hours) and get started off the bat with vodka tonic. We order food and dig in as our friends continue to spill into the bar. At one point, The Boyfriend tells me that our friend lost his keys on the walk to the bar and he would have to go help look for them. At another point, I go sit near my friend (previously referred to as The Bride) and she tells me that her man stepped out for a minute. These two incidents are connected but I didn’t notice at the time.  

Then, with 2.5 vodka tonics in my system plus some pig wings, The Boyfriend stands in front of all our friends and asks for everyone’s attention. He starts off by thanking everyone for coming. I start clapping and yell “Yay, Happy Birthday!” Then he asks if everyone can go outside for a minute. Confused, I get up and follow everyone out. When I get outside, I see a keyboard set up and a chair near it. I’m told to sit in the chair because of my knee. At this point, I still don’t really know what is going on.

I sit in the chair. The Boyfriend sits at the keyboard. He starts to play a song that sounds familiar but I don’t know the name of (later I found out he played the first bit of “Still D.R.E.”). Then, he starts to play “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney. It is only when he is playing our song that I realize that it’s really happening. The Boyfriend, who does not know how to play piano, has learned how to play our song in secret. He plays part of it, his hands shaking the whole time. Then he gets down on his knee and asks me to marry him. Tears streaming down my face, I say yes.

It was a week ago today that he asked me. I still can’t stop gazing at my ring. I still can’t stop thinking about how he did it. How amazing he is. How surprised I was. And how ready I am to call myself his wife. I need to give him a new nickname; he is no longer The Boyfriend. I now dub him Future Husband with a smile on my face. 


Just a Little More Ribbon…

Two of my very good friends got married to each other over the weekend. In preparation for their union I did all the usual things. I made sure that my house was fully stocked with wine for stress-emergencies and I tried not to bother The Bride with my trivial questions about clothes (at least unless they seemed really, really important). Another time-honored tradition was finding some clothes to wear to the wedding. But most importantly, I needed to find a gift for the happy couple.

Being the indecisive person that I am, I came up with a few gift ideas. Most of the ideas were small enough that I felt I could combine them into one BIG present. So that’s what I did. I found a basket that would hold everything and I arranged it. But it didn’t look quite right.

How to fix this jumble of presents? Everyone knows that it’s all about presentation. So I got my tissue paper and my handy spool of blue ribbon and got to work. First, I individually wrapped each item in tissue paper. Then I tied it with ribbon. Then I used scissors to make ribbon curls. There were 3 square-shaped gifts. Those were easy to hold together with ribbon. Then there were 3 bottle-shaped gifts. They proved to be a little more complicated. One was tiny, so that was pretty easy too. The other two, well, let’s just say I used a lot of ribbon. Once I had wrapped each individual present with a ton of ribbon and tissue paper, I was nearly done. I just needed to wrap the whole thing in cellophane.

This should be the easy part, I thought. Look at how much I still have on my giant roll of cellophane! Still, I wanted to have an assist with this. Frustratingly, The Boyfriend was taking forever to come help me. I stood up and the unimaginable happened. The whole basket, which had been carefully packed and was sitting on my bed, fell over. Everything spilled out. I just buried my face in my hands and yelled for The Boyfriend.  “Everything’s a mess, it’s all ruined, I don’t know what to dooooooooo!”

First, he asked, “Is anything broken?”

I said, “I don’t think so.”

So he looked at me, shook his head, and picked up all the items and started putting them back in the basket.

“You’re doing it wrong!” My extreme unhappiness in regards to the disheveled way that The Boyfriend was ‘fixing’ the gift was met with a look. That look that says do it yourself then! That’s exactly what he let me do. The Boyfriend had to leave the house earlier than I did, so he left me with the unwrapped gift and went on his way.

I decided to deal with the gift later. I needed to get ready. Our friend – TN Mathematician was coming over so we could go to the wedding together. Even though we are close friends, it’s still frowned upon to answer the door in a towel so I knew time was of the essence. I did mange to get ready completely – including makeup, doing my hair (sort of), and putting on my dress – before TN Mathematician got there. Relieved, I recruited him to help with the wrapping of the gift.

Armed with blue ribbon, cellophane, scissors, and a stapler, we got to work. Turns out that TN Mathematician does not know how to use a stapler efficiently, so we switched roles. I stapled and he held it up. Once the cellophane was relatively secure, I grabbed the ribbon. First, I tied it around the body of the basket. Then I started going to town. It went over, it went under, it went around and around. All the ribbon had to be curled of course, but I was up to the challenge. All in all, I used about half a spool of ribbon. But the present was securely wrapped. Mission accomplished. TN Mathematician saved the day, and the wedding. (Because the wedding would obviously have been ruined had the present not been wrapped to my satisfaction). And I can honestly say, I used enough ribbon.


You Know You’ve Had Too Much When…

This is a post that I wrote a little while ago, but I postponed publishing it because Grandma died and it seemed inappropriate to post while I was still bursting into tears at any given moment. I still miss her, but I have gotten to the point where it’s ok to be happy and it’s ok to have fun. This is a very honest blog post. Try not to judge me too much.


I’m not a huge drinker. I enjoy a few drinks here and there, but usually I stick to the weekends. After an especially stressful day, I may have a glass or two of wine after work. All in moderation.

This past weekend I had a bachelorette party to attend. I was excited about celebrating with my friend, but I only knew two other people that were supposed to attend, so I wasn’t sure how the evening was going to go. I figured that the best way to tackle an awkward social situation was to have some drinks. Although I had a pretty good time, I *might* have had a little too much to drink. I came to this conclusion after having my very first (and hopefully last) two-day hangover. I didn’t even know that could happen.

WARNING: This is an honest depiction of my hangover. It’s a little gross and might be an over-share.

After a deep and thorough analysis of the situation, I decided that there were several factors that should have warned me that I was having a bit too much to drink. So you know you’ve had too much when…


…you introduce yourself to the bride’s sisters multiple times and when you remember their names a few minutes later are extremely proud of yourself

…you try to dance

…you nearly fall over from trying to dance on a single leg because your knee still hurts from falling on the ice way back when

…you try to mimic one of the bride’s friends when she is dancing by sticking out her leg and she tells you that you shouldn’t use your hands at the same time, which makes no sense to you so you continue to dance with your hands

…you find it amazing that you recognize some of the music playing at the club and point this out to the bride who gives you a look like:


…you do a shot of tequila even though you hate shots of tequila

…you ask the bride what she wants to drink and get really confused when she gives you a few options so you keep staring at her until she gives you a specific drink order which you promptly get so you don’t forget what she said

…you find out that one of the girls went outside for a cigarette and think that sounds like the best thing ever (although I was still coherent enough to realize that The Boyfriend would kill me if I picked up smoking again so I didn’t)

…after deciding not to bum a smoke you decide to stand very close to the person who was just smoking and smell them

…you weren’t subtle about it

…you decide it would be a good idea to drink some water so you go over to the bar, sit down, order a water, pull your phone out of your tiny purse and promptly drop it on the floor

…you start to bend over (while still sitting) to pick up your phone and have to catch yourself on a stranger

…you nearly knock over said stranger because she too was in heels

…the stranger picks up your phone and you thank them profusely and think it is the kindest thing ever

…you send yet another drunk text to The Boyfriend

…you are very disappointed that The Boyfriend is not answering any of your texts and conclude that he is asleep and that is stupid and he is stupid

…you determine that you need to pee again and stumble to the bathroom

…when you get to the bathroom you ask the counter to hold your drink for you

…you find it amazing that the bathroom has quality toilet paper and such a hospitable counter

…the size of the sink is puzzling to you – why is it so small?

…you don’t understand why there is only one bathroom and that it is a single person one

…you are shocked to find out that there is in fact another bathroom but it is labeled something in French which is why you didn’t know it was a bathroom

…you talk to the guy at the door and tell him that yes, this is where the bachelorette party was

…you tell him that the bathroom labeling is very confusing

…you determine you should drink some more water

…you’re very disappointed that the thong song comes on when you are sitting at the bar drinking water but conclude that the water is more important than dancing to the thong song

…you have a long conversation with strangers about the fact that you are using a penis straw because you’re at a bachelorette party and about how anatomically incorrect the straw is because the balls are really tiny and the head is really big

…you are using a penis straw

…instead of leaving a tip the proper way you just scribble ‘math’ in the tip and just make the total bigger (I think I left like a $20 tip overall but I’m not sure)

…when the uber guy picks you up you tell him you have no idea how to get home so you really hope he knows his way

…he responds by telling you that is why God invented GPS

…you think this is the funniest thing ever and proceed to laugh the whole way home

…you are super proud when you are able to unlock the front door

…when you get home you get really excited about the fact that you have cats and tell them that they are soft while petting them

…you debate letting the dog out so he can hang out with you

…instead you just pick up a cat and wander around the house for a little while with a cat in your arms

…you basically throw the cat at the floor because you realize you have to pee really bad

…while peeing you take off your boots and throw them across the bathroom, which makes you laugh

…the cat comes into the bathroom and rolls over on its back and you think this is hilarious too

…you kind of want to wake up The Boyfriend to hang out with you and maybe play a game like MANCALA!

…you realize you’re not feeling so well and abandon the idea of waking up The Boyfriend

…you vomit. A LOT.

…you realize suddenly while peeing that you have to vomit and need to use the trashcan, which in a moment of panic you realize is already pretty full of garbage so you throw some of it on the floor in order to make room for your puke

…you remember why you don’t usually drink that much

…oh God, make the room stop spinning

…you think there is something you’re supposed to do before bed but can’t quite remember what it is

…you get toothpaste more on your face than anywhere else but figure it is good enough

…you forget to take out your contacts

…you abandon the idea of taking off your makeup

…all clothes are thrown on the floor right by the bed, not even near the hamper, and this includes your pretty undergarments that you usually are much more careful with (this excludes the boots which were left in the bathroom)

…you completely fall on the bed and are amazed that The Boyfriend didn’t wake up

…you wake up a few hours later and vomit some more

…you try to drink some more water but determine what you really need is Gatorade

…somehow you convince The Boyfriend to get you Gatorade from the store

…you shuffle around the block and don’t understand why the sun is shining so brightly or why the dog is so happy to be outside where it is bright

…when you get home you sit on the couch and just moan

…you spend a lot of the day moaning and informing The Boyfriend that you don’t feel well

…you don’t make it to the toilet for the first time you can remember and half throw up on the floor/your arm

…you fall into a merciful sleep during the day, roll over to check your phone for messages, and realize that your parents are five minutes away because they were coming over

…you are really apprehensive about getting in the car with them because no one has fixed the potholes in the area and you know it is going to be bumpy

…you complain loudly every time you go over a bump and wonder if you are going to have to get them to pull over so you can vomit again

…you are amazingly grateful when the car is parked

…walking is a new challenge

…you decide that food would be good at this point (having had nothing all day) and pick some greasy pizza and a coke

…the pizza tastes amazing

…the coke tastes even better and you drink two even though you don’t drink soda anymore

…you think that coke is nectar from the gods and don’t understand why you stopped drinking it in the first place

…you walk past a stand with books you acknowledge the books being there but have no desire to go look at them

…you want nothing to eat except more pizza and convince The Boyfriend to order in pizza despite having ordered pizza the day before because you want plain and he ordered meat lovers

…you drink more coke and just revel at how good it tastes

…it takes a few days to piece together how many drinks you had

…you realize that you had two glasses of red wine at dinner, a cosmopolitan when you first got to the bar, a vodka tonic, a shot of tequila, another vodka tonic, and two screwdrivers


To the Guy with the Umbrella at East Falls Station

I haven’t seen you before, but I would recognize you if I saw you again. Normally, I don’t take the early train and that is probably part of the reason I don’t know your face. Today it was pouring out. In this awful weather, there was a man with an umbrella. That was you.

It’s such a simple thing, really. Something that you might not even know was so extraordinary to so many people. But my day started off a little bit better because of you.

The train pulled up. It was probably about fifteen minutes late if not more. That’s why I caught it, because I was early to my usual train and your train was late. When the train pulled up, you were near the front of the line. Instead of forcing your way inside to stay dry, you stood right outside the door and held your umbrella. You held it so that everyone who was getting on the train could stay dry as they holstered their own umbrellas. You stood there in the rain letting all the other people get on dry as the rain dripped on you.

I didn’t ask your name. I didn’t tell you mine. I did look you in the eye and with a genuine smile say “Thank you!” I hope that was enough for you to know just how kind everyone found you to be this morning. It seemed like everyone who walked up the steps to the train stopped for a moment to say thank you.

It really was such a simple thing. Holding an umbrella at the train station. Letting the other people get on the train dry. Offering a smile as people thanked you for your kindness. I don’t know if I’ll see you again, but there just might be a chance that you’ll read this and know – someone noticed. I noticed. I really appreciated the kindness that you showed with no agenda.

Thank you, from everyone at the station. It’s a comfort to know that there are still nice people out there. People who do something as simple and extraordinary as holding an umbrella so that people can get on the train and stay dry. Thank you.

I Found Buried Treasure!

It was over the weekend. I had hosta and lily of the valley to plant and time was running out. Soon, the mosquitos would be out – out for my blood. I was determined that I was going to finish planting everything before that happened. I discovered that it was much easier to dig holes in the yard by first hacking at the ground with my trowel to soften the earth and then scooping it out. Sweat was running down my face and I just knew that I looked a mess. I hacked at the ground furiously, stopping every now and then to make sure that Ranger wasn’t getting too hot and was drinking the water I brought out for him. Finally I was finished with the plants in the front yard. Time to move to the back.

The idea with the plants in the front yard is to minimize the amount of lawn that needs to be mowed. So I planted three big rows of lily of the valley with some hosta thrown in. Theoretically, the roots should take hold and take over – no more mowing in the front. In retrospect, I wish I had taken the time to till the earth in the front in order to remove some of the more stubborn vine-roots that seem to be everywhere, but what’s done is done.

For the back yard, the plan was to line the fence area with hosta. The Boyfriend said he preferred I not plant any right under where the hammock goes. Fair enough, I can work with that. So I decided to just put them over near my vegetable garden. I pick up my trusty trowel and kneel down in the dirt. Softening the earth by hacking at it worked so well in the front that I just start going at it. Only this time, after less than an inch of dirt, I hit something solid. Having found plenty of slate in the yard before, I assumed that’s what it was. I began digging around it to find the edge. I find it, but it is a perfect cut and when I try to pry it up, more uncovers. I smooth the dirt away with my hands and see it is even bigger than I initially believed.

I can’t believe it. I found buried treasure!!

Ok, chances are, it isn’t buried treasure. But The Boyfriend looked at it and couldn’t figure out what it was. The picture was sent to The Not-Quite In-Laws and neither of them knew what it was. Even Crazy Lady (aka Mom) didn’t know what it was and I swear she is ALL-KNOWING.

Not having any indication of what it is, my imagination ran wild. My initial thought was that it might be a septic tank, but having never seen one before this is just my guess of something logical in the ground. I thought that the coolest scenario could be buried treasure. But then I thought, what if it’s a tomb? That would be pretty cool too. Or maybe, it’s the entrance to NARNIA! Ooo, or it could be a bomb shelter from the 60’s and there are people living underneath us right now! Perhaps it’s a tunnel to the center of the earth. Maybe, it’s the entrance to the twilight zone! Or it’s a spaceship that crashed here decades ago and is full of dead aliens!

Well, I don’t know what it is. But as long as it stays buried, I can keep dreaming of all the different cool things that it might be. Here is a picture if you want to guess yourselves! Oh, and if you were wondering, the plants ended up going in front of the tree.