Archive for the ‘Love and Marriage’Category

15 Years

My Big, Fat, Mexican Wedding

My Big, Fat, Mexican Wedding

A couple of days ago, I wrote about how I met the LOML. Today, it’s all about how we got together.

This one’s for you, Sweetie.

***************

On April 8, 1994, I walked through the doors of a country bar, all nervous and anxious because I knew you’d be there.

A few minutes later, I’d learn that my BFF had put on her “bad cop” costume, stuffed you into a booth, and mercilessly interrogated you prior to my arrival. But you didn’t care. You thought it was kind of sweet, actually.

And you also didn’t mind that, when we decided to go get a bite to eat, she tagged along, crowning herself the night’s “chaperone.” Nor did you care that the closest place to the bar that served pizza and beer was Chuck E. Cheese.

There we were. The three of us. On our first date together. Surrounded by screaming kids and talking animals.

You couldn’t tell, but my legs were shaking.

The hours that followed went by like a blur. We danced and drank and talked. We’d go outside to get air, and then danced and drank and talked some more.

At the end of the night, in the middle of the dance floor, I looked up at you so I could say something. But before I could speak, you kissed me.

And it wasn’t just a garden variety, obligatory “first date” peck. This was a Rhett-Butler-make-the-girl-feel-like-Scarlet-O’Hara movie kiss.

You didn’t notice that I’d stopped breathing. Just stopped. Held it in. Because for some reason I thought that if I let out a breath, the kiss would somehow manage to escape.

Then you said, “I’ve been wanting to do that since I saw you walk in two days ago.”

And my first thought was, ‘Really, because when I walked through the door two days ago I looked like a wet rat.’

Feigning embarrassment, I said, “Oh, come on. You probably say that to all the girls . . .”

“No, really. My friends have been teasing me for two days straight. I’m, like . . . I mean . . . I really like you.” Then you kissed me again.

And at that moment, I knew.

I knew that you were HIM.

Six years later, to the day, you made me your wife. Even though all the signs along the way screamed, “Run. RUN. As fast as you can. And don’t look back. She’s got more personalities than Sybil. And that family of hers . . . You’re kidding, right? Have you NOT met her Dad?”

You knew full well what you were getting yourself into, but you did it anyway.

Thank GOD you don’t believe in signs.

Happy Anniversary, Sweetie.

08

04 2009

So, a Drunk Girl Walks Into This Bar . . .

"I paid $7 for this beer, and I'm drinking every drop of it if it kills me."

"I paid $7 for this beer, and I'm drinking every drop of it if it kills me."

One of the most popular questions that I receive via email is “How did you meet the Love of Your Life (a.k.a. ‘The LOML’)”?

And I usually think, “Jesus-H-Christ, if they all knew what I had done that night I’d get hate mail from now until all eternity.” Because I used to do some seriously irresponsible shit. Like smoke weed. And drive drunk. Not things I’m happy to admit I did, but they’re a part of my past nonetheless. I thank God every day that I never hurt or killed anyone.

[I'm serious. This is not an easy tale to share.]

However, since today is the 15th anniversary of our meeting, I decided to come clean and just put it out there. Because it’s a damn good (if not very long) story . . .

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Fifteen years ago today, I was 21.

Eight months prior to that, I had decided to get out of a horribly abusive relationship, where the man in question had turned me into a shrinking violet that rarely spoke to my Mom. He did not drink. And he did not allow me to drink (so I went out and did it without his knowing). He didn’t allow me to do a lot of things. Like talk to my BFF. Or spend time with my own family. I’m not sure why it took three years for me to realize I was making the hugest mistake of my life, but I realized it nonetheless.

So, on one sunny day in late July of 1993, I announced to my family, friends, and co-workers (so I’d have accountability partners) that I was going to leave him. I spent three weeks cleaning house and packing, all the while telling him that I was just “reorganizing.” On the morning that I left him, I loaded up what was mine into a few small trucks, taped a note to the wall, and moved back home.

Three days after we broke up, I took a trip with my mom, sister, and her three daughters to a theme park resort. I smiled and laughed with a passion and spirit that I hadn’t seen in over three years. Later that night, I won a tequila shooting contest at the hotel bar and ended up making out with the evening’s emcee. My sister officially declared me “over him.”

Then between September 1993 and March 1994, I spent most of my evenings making up for lost fun. I was single, had successfully completed the “ain’t-nobody-new-gonna-see-me-naked-until-I-lose-40-pounds-diet,” and was on a mission from hell to paint every bar within a 500-mile radius of Sacramento red.

On April 6, 1994, I had spent the day begging the BFF to meet me at a country bar that had become our hangout. It was a Wednesday, which meant that we only had to pay $1 for anything on the bar menu. And I was also itching to dance.

She was married at the time, and kept arguing that it would better for her to stay home.

But I persisted, and she eventually gave in. She said she’d meet me there at 8:00pm.

Later that day, I decided to go to my usual after-work watering hole to spend some time with a bartender that had been doing the flirt tango with me for what seemed like weeks. A bunch of my co-workers followed me over, and we did an amazing job of getting our drink on.

We started with beer, then moved on to shots. In between we munched on appetizers and whatever else the bartender decided we needed to have. He liked me, so most of what was served was either deeply discounted or free. Including booze.

Over the course of 2 ½ hours, I got so drunk, I could barely stand up, let alone walk a straight line. Or drive.

I remember putting my face down on the top of the bar, which was covered in blue tile. It was cool on my face. The bartender, stroking the hair away from my face, asked me to hang out so he could drive me home. But I told him no, because I didn’t want to incur the wrath of the BFF if I stood her up. I had spent all day begging her to go out, so I HAD to meet her. I would either kill myself on the road, or she would kill me for not meeting her. Either way, I was screwed.

So I stumbled to the bathroom, splashed water on my face, and changed into my two-steppin’ clothes.

The bartender then begged me to stay. Not only so he could drive me home, but maybe take advantage of me. A supreme offer, really, but I declined. And left.

I would never see him again.

From there, the evening’s events get a little fuzzy. And can only be described as reckless, negligent, and downright foolish.

I do not remember getting into the car. I do remember getting on the freeway and talking myself through the driving process. “You’re just driving. You do this every day. You’re only going three miles. You can do this. You can TOTALLY do this.”

I do not remember being on the freeway.

I do remember being on the road that I needed to be on after exiting the freeway. I was still talking to myself. “You’re almost there. Just a few more lights, girl. Just get there.”

And if that wasn’t scary enough, I don’t remember anything else. I just remember waking up in the parking lot of the country bar. At 8:30pm.

Since the bouncers knew me, I didn’t have to go through the I.D. or line-vetting process to get through the door. If they had known how drunk I was, or what I had done to get there, they would have called the police.

I walked in and began to look around for the BFF, who found me within three minutes of my arrival. “Are you KIDDING me with this?” she said, and grabbed the keys out of my hand. “Come on, let’s go have Ed make you some coffee. And get you some gum . . . Jesus! I’ve been watching the place for 30 minutes and there’s this really cute cowboy that I want you to check out. But not looking the way you do. How’d you get in?”

“I put my bangs over my eyes and smiled for the boys.”

“Jesus. I can’t believe you drove here.”

She spent the better part of an hour getting me pumped full of caffeine, then took me to the bathroom to fix my face.

A few minutes later, after we emerged from the ladies room, she was asked to dance. She was always asked to dance – my BFF is a natural beauty without even trying. When done up, she looks like something out of an Estee Lauder ad. It’s totally disgusting. But I love her anyway.

She and her dance partner headed for the floor. I then realized that dance partner’s wingman was fast approaching me, assuming that I’d partner up with him. He resembled George Costanza, and was wearing a shirt that was too tight, unbuttoned to show his hairy chest, and drenched with sweat. I was SO not going there.

Behind him though, and gaining ground, was a tall, handsome, blue-eyed cowboy. Thinking as quickly as I could for as drunk as I was, I walked right past George, went up to the cowboy, and said, “Dance with me! This is my FAVORITE song!” Then I grabbed his hand and ran, leaving George in a cloud of dust.

While we were dancing, the BFF made her way over to me and mouthed the words, “THAT WAS THE GUY I WANTED YOU TO SEE!” And did the thumbs up move.

When the music stopped, we made our way to a small spot at the end of the bar to talk. This is where it’s really important for you to know that I have no sense of smell. At all.

For the first ten minutes of the conversation, I was scared out of my mind. Because whenever I said anything to him, he would immediately turn his face away. I kept thinking, “Oh-my-f’ing-GOD-my-breath-must-smell-like-hot-ass.” But I had no way to really know. Having no sense of smell, the old “breathe-into-your-palm-and-sniff” trick never worked for me.

Finally, I just said, “Uh, does my breath smell?”

“No. Why?”

“Because you keep turning your face away when I say something.”

He laughed and then said, “Ohhh. Sorry. I can’t hear out of this [pointing to his left] ear. I’m just trying to make sure I understand you.”

And I was like, “No . . . WAY! I have no sense of smell. Don’t we make an awesome couple?!”

He laughed again, and we spent the rest of the night talking and dancing. The BFF met up with some of our other friends, but would stop by to check on me here and there. By the time ‘last call’ was announced, I’d sobered up enough to drive home. He walked me to my car, kissed me on the cheek, and we agreed to meet again two days later.

The next morning, I told my mom that I had met a really nice guy, and I remember her rolling her eyes immediately.

Five years later, she would give him her wedding ring so he could use it to propose marriage.

Yes. Women really do marry guys that they meet at bars.

06

04 2009

“Christmas Brain”

I love Christmas. I love the decorations, spirit, and extended time with my family that doesn’t seem to exist during the rest of the year.

It’s almost enough to make me forget having to endure what I like to call “Christmas Brain.” Everyone gets it, including me. (Which is why I just tried to put a drool bib on my husband, instead of Ben.)

But, my husband suffers from a much more severe case of it.

Here’s an example:

It’s a well-known fact within my circle of family and friends that I am the hands-down champion maker of spinach dip. So much so that I am not allowed to cross the threshold of any home where a family gathering is taking place without the coveted appetizer in hand.

Saturday, I sent my husband to the store to buy frozen spinach so I could make the first of three batches for our holiday travels.

He returned with 92 shopping bags in tow.

I was in the living room, folding clothes when I heard him say, “Oh. It looks like you already got bread this morning.”

“Yes,” I replied, “I just needed spinach.”

“Hmm. Well, we’ll have some extra bread for dipping then.”

He continued to put the groceries away, and then said, “Water chestnuts?”

“Three cans. In the pantry.” I replied.

“Oh.”

“Spinach, honey. That’s all I needed. Just spinach . . . not sour cream or soup mix or green onions or water chestnuts.”

[Sighing] “Okay . . .,” and then he stopped speaking, apparently not wanting to share that, thanks to his additional purchases, we now owned more cans of water chestnuts per capita than Chinatown.

And finally, proving his case of full-blown Christmas Brain, he said, “Mayonnaise?”

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23

12 2007

Be Jealous . . . Be Very Very Jealous!

Is it just me, or has it been one frickin’ hellishly long week?

I have never been as busy at work as I am now, which is a good thing. The boys have been especially needy this week (including my 35-year-old . . .), and I haven’t counted points since yesterday. (I think I’m okay, though. I weigh in tomorrow morning.) Oh yeah–and I’m still on the hunt for a new day care provider.

So, mamma needs a break–and she’s gonna get one.

We’ve arranged for 18 hours of grown-up bliss beginning tomorrow at 5:00pm. We get to drop the boys off at grandma’s, hit a party, and check into a hotel room. On Sunday morning, we’re having brunch.

And in that 18-hour period, I won’t have one single bedtime battle, no 2:30am bottle, a breakfast standoff, or a naptime tantrum. No saying, “Do you want Santa to not bring you a present?” or “Please don’t put that screwdriver in the wall socket.” or “Get your brother out of the Christmas Tree.”

Just adult conversation, adult beverages, and adult . . . adults doing adult and grown-up things.

So be jealous. If I weren’t me, I’d be jealous of me.

Have a happy weekend!

07

12 2007

My Husband’s Guy Card

Read this story, and tell me if you think my husband’s guy card should be deactivated . . .

This morning I was online paying bills, and I decided to poke around a bit with our DirecTV programming. I didn’t change anything, I was just testing some new “adds” and “removes” to see what our bill would be.

By accident, I ended at the “Upgrade Equipment” page. Right now, we have an older DirecTV HD DVR with TiVO. (How we ever lived without TiVO, I’ll never know.) So I thought maybe I’d look into what it would cost us to upgrade to the newer HD DVR and the bigger dish that accommodates local and regular satellite channels in HD.

The cost suprised me: $0

I totally freaked out. I was ready to call and make an appointment when I realized this was one of those “family decisions.” So, I went into the kitchen and said to my husband, “What if I told you that the cost for DirecTV to come out, install the big HD dish and put the new HD tuner with TiVO in our living room was ZERO dollars?”

“Zero?”

“Yes, nothing. Not a penny.”

“Will they take out the old dish and haul it away?”

“I don’t know. I was just talking installation of the new stuff. They’ve got something called “Old Dish Relocator” that costs $49, but I don’t know what that means.”

“Well, then it’s not free. Plus, I don’t want them coming out and drilling holes in our new roof. And there’s still some cables up there that aren’t cleaned up from the last time they were here. You gotta watch those [expletive] subcontractors or they’ll do a crap job. I gotta get up there and fix all that.”

“Okay. I didn’t realize this came with a list of conditions.”

“They’re not conditions–you just weren’t thinking about all that stuff.”

“No, apparently I wasn’t. I saw ‘free installation’ and thought you might like to get more of the channels in HD than we currently do for free. I guess I was being crazy.”

“Well, once I get up there . . .”

“Nope. I’m over it. Never mind.”

Because I know that he’ll NEVER ‘get up there.’ I’ve been with this guy for 13 years. At 6’4″ and 300lbs., climbing up ladders and onto roofs is not something he does often–or well.

How many men do you know that would turn down free HD? Seriously!! We’ve got a 56″ big screen with HD capability. What man doesn’t want the most HD programming for nothing more than what he’s already paying?

So for now, I’m stuck with paying $9.99 per month for seven HD channels. Maybe I should just cancel digital altogether . . .

14

04 2007