Things That Went Wrong:
1. The Tiara: I ordered something relatively tame and they sent something that only a Malaysian hooker would wear.
2. Cake: I arrived at the church an hour late (and ten minutes before the ceremony was supposed to start) in my Eeyore boxers and a button up shirt. I was promptly informed that neither the cake nor the cake designer (a co-worker) had shown up. Chris, the minister and everyone waiting in the pews heard me shriek, "CALL HER AND TELL HER I WILL FUCKING DESTROY HER AND HER ENTIRE FAMILY IF SHE ISN'T HERE IN FIVE MOTHERFUCKING MINUTES."
3. The minister: I was in full meltdown mode over the cake fiasco when I met him and I'm sure he was already very impressed with my class and decorum. Suffice it to say that I expected him to chew my finger off, steal the ring and scamper out the door while wheezing, "My preccciouuus!" He was odd.
I don't belong to a church and had to hire a stranger. Sue me.
Things That Went Right:
1. My husband: He takes my breath away. Thirty minutes before the ceremony, he was in the back yard in a pair of flip flops and shorts, showing the puppy off to his cousins. I approached him, he took one look at the crazy in my eyes and said, "It's ok, babe. I'll be there on time. I promise." And he was.
2. Whoever popped a Xanax in my mouth and ordered me to, "Quit fucking sniveling. It's just a cake." I don't know who it was but I thank you.
3. My sister driving in from Texas. We had fun, even though she totally busted me out to my mom about the time she & I smoked pot eight or nine years ago. Of course, my mom was so drunk she won't remember it. Unless she reads this.
4. The cake, part 2: Although late, it was beautiful and didn't burn too terribly when Chris shoved it straight up my nose.
5. The photographer: She somehow managed to position me and everyone around me so that I didn't look like a giant egg. In the video, I look like a giant egg.
6. My son: He managed to not be an angst-ridden teenager for the half hour it took to escort the ladies and act as the best man. He made me very proud and was positively perfect.
7. My daughter: Although delivered to the church half an hour late, she was the most precious flower girl ever and I totally forgave her for dumping a jumbo bottle of bubbles into the air conditioner because she thought it would blow bubbles throughout the house.
8. My dad: He cried through the ceremony and wiped his whole face with the hankerchief to try and camouflage the crying as sweating. No one was fooled.
Completely Random Thought:
I'm here at work, answering calls from dipshits, and found out that no one's insurance is 'collapsing' anymore. They have had a meeting and all decided that it now elapses.
At least we're getting closer to the right word.
And set on fire.
Kicked. Lots of kicking.
Upon being greeted by one of the Stepford tanning associates, I inquired about high-pressure beds.
She flashed her brilliantly white teeth at me. "I'm sorry. What?"
"High-pressure beds. They have lower UV rays and don't burn you...?"
"Oh! Like the P90!" Here is where she goes into salesperson mode. "It's $30 per session for a walk-in and $15 per session if you buy a membership. It has less than a 1% percent burning ratio, water misters for comfort, aromatherapy, three levels of facial tanning as well as shoulder tanning. Would you like to buy some Floozy for your skin before you tan?"
"Floozy? What? Umm, I don't need aromatherapy. I just need to not look like I've been cuddling with Jimmy Hoffa for the last decade."
"Isn't $30 a little steep for one session?"
From over in the corner, unnoticed by me until now, a woman chirps, "Oh, honey. This bed is revolutionary."
Now, I don't know about you, but I don't normally think of tanning beds as "revolutionary". Velcro is revolutionary. Lasik? Revolutionary. Viagra! Now THAT'S revolutionary! Tanning bed? Not so much.
In the interest of just getting what I needed as quickly as possible, I asked the woman why she thought the bed was revolutionary.
"Well! My daughter is as fair as you and she was in there for 10 minutes and...well, let me just show you."
To my horror, she starts frantically waving her arms to get the attention of someone outside in an SUV. As I watch the exchange between her and the girl in the car, I get more uncomfortable.
"Really, there's no need to-"
"No, it's okay!" She then begins her administrations again. Screaming through the glass was her next tactic. "GET YOUR BUTT OUT OF THE CAR AND COME SHOW THIS LADY WHERE YOUR STICKER WAS!"
Sticker? Oh, hell to the no.
"Ma'am, I really don't think that will be necessary. I'll get some minutes and-"
In the middle of my attempt to pacify her, she walks outside, opens the door and drags a very unhappy, chubby little girl inside.
LITTLE. GIRL. Maybe nine. No older than ten. Tanning bed. Skin leathering, ovary-cooking tanning beds. Good God.
The girl was looking at me with an expression that can only be defined as, "Do you see what this bitch puts me through?"
"Show this nice lady where your sticker was. Go on. Quit being shy."
As I stand there and pray to the Gods of my sanity that this poor little girl didn't get adventurous with the sticker, she shyly pulls her shirt up above her midriff. She's turning scarlet and is obviously mortified at showing an entire tanning salon her roll of fat. I wanted to kill her goddamned mother on the spot. Instead, I whispered, "Thank you, sweetheart. I appreciate it," and watched as she slowly made her way out the car with her head down.
"See? You can do eight to ten minutes in that bed and the color is fabulous!"
I ignored her and turned back to Stepford.
"I'll take package four."
I walked into the room and was greeted by this. I went into my best Scotty impression.
"Cap'n! We can't get any thrust, Cap'n!"
I was giggling to myself as the Stepford girl warily watched me and began explaining the eight thousand buttons and settings. I tuned her out. On/Off. That's all I need.
When I came out, I asked her if that woman and her daughter were regular customers.
"Well, you could say that. She owns this chain."
"Oh. Shit. You don't offer refunds, do you?"
Ah, well. At least I helped pay for the therapy that little girl will so badly need.
Oh, and for the record, that bed burned my fucking ass off.
I have planted a flower garden and it's glorious.
A flower garden.
Two years ago I was in a bar in Philadelphia getting drunk with a 500-pound trucker named Tiny. Three years ago I was sitting in a field, drinking tequila at noon and singing all the wrong lyrics while Shinedown wailed on stage. Nine years ago I was at Ozzfest shielding my eyes to deflect the beads rocketing off of Jonathan Davis' head.
Life changes. People assume responsibility and actually make an effort to find out what the fuck a 401K is and if they have one. For the record, I do not. When asked what my financial goals were, I simply replied, "If I don't win the lottery, I plan on making cheap internet porn with Chris and some midgets."
I'm not complaining. My life is different now, but it also presents more rewards. I just have to pause at times and marvel at the metamorphosis when I find myself waking everyone in the house at 5 a.m. while shrieking, "Come look at my first rose bloom, you lazy bastards! It's fucking gorgeous!"
Click here. (Safe for Work)
Daisy was meek and shy and sweet and every puppy grunt sent the entire family into paroxysms of delight. Dusty originally tried to eat her, so we took them to a park and let Daisy sit on the ground, trembling, while Dusty strained against his leash, stuffed his nose up her butt and growled at her.
Later that night, after keeping them apart all day, I had had enough.
"Put her down. Let Dusty in."
Virginia was aghast.
"Mommy, no! I don't want to see Dusty eat the baby!"
"Then go in the other room. This is ridiculous. Dusty is not going to hurt that little lump of fur. He's just intimidated and territorial."
Thank you, Dr. Doolittle.
We let Dusty in and he did exactly what I thought he would. He barked at her, scared the shit out of her (literally. Thank God we're putting in new carpet), tried to hump her, licked her and generally let her know that he was the Master of this house and she could just forget it if she thought she was here to take over.
Twenty-four hours later, Daisy is using all five of her formidable pounds to kick his ever-loving ass. She chases him through the house and latches on to his droopy ears while he runs with his tail tucked between his legs, dragging her along like a caramel colored dustmop. Chris couldn't be more proud.
In the meantime, I am sending Dusty to the vet to get some steroids or something. God, what a pussy.
After five long weeks, my wedding dress finally made it here from Hong Kong.
Yes, I bought it from Hong Kong. I'm all for buying American until they slap a $700 price tag on a $200 dress. Then I'm all about sweatshops.
Kidding. I kid.
Anyway, when they tailored it to fit me, telling them that I'm an F or G cup, or whatever the hell I am these days, had no impact or just didn't translate. They sent the dress with these tiny little bra cups and after Chris & I giggled for a few minutes, I immediately snipped them out. I tossed them on the computer desk with the thread still hanging out of the top and didn't think another thing about it.
Some time later, Chris and I are sitting on the couch watching TV when the silence is broken by a high-pitched shriek. Chris and I turn to each other.
"I got five bucks on Virginia and it was pain."
"You so don't know my children. Five says it was Devon and it was outrage...possibly disgust. I'll go with disgust."
We sit back and wait. Three seconds later, Devon comes scampering down the hallway and into the kitchen. He throws on the hot water and begins furiously scrubbing his hands while whimpering. Chris and I walk into the kitchen and hover over him like vultures.
"Sweety? What's wrong?"
"Candles! I thought they were candles! I touched them and they touched my hands and ackkk! Can't leave that stuff lying around!"
Chris & I look at each other, puzzled. Candles?
We go into the bedroom and Chris sees them first. The bra cups are on opposite sides of the room, obviously having been tossed in horror from the hands of a thirteen-year-old boy who has just realized that he is touching something that may or may not have touched his mom's boobies.
3 minutes after I picked them up from school:
Disclaimer: I solemly vow to get a tan or run into the sun for at least 30 seconds to keep from blinding you all with any new pictures.
It is simply amazing how much I don't know about weddings. These two conversations have taken place in the last week:
"So, what song did you choose for your first dance?"
"Song? First dance? What?"
"Yeah. It's traditional for the two of you to dance to a song as man and wife...in front of everyone."
"Oh, no. No, no. No. We don't dance. Well, Chris might. I'm more like a throwback from the Ally Sheedy in Breakfast Club days. No one needs to see that. We'll just skip that part."
"Ohhhhh kaaaay. Well, what about favors. What did you decide on?"
At this point, I'm trying not to look completely ignorant.
"Umm. Well, my mom is doing the food and I think Hannah is going to do the music for the procession-"
"No, Crystal. Not favors you've asked of other people. Favors. (note: said with emphasis as though there is a difference between "favors" and "favors". Umkay) The stuff you give them with you & Chris's name on it as a memento."
"They have invitations. Those have our name on it."
"You have to give them a memento."
"Fine. I'll hire a sweaty guy named Lou to sit in the back and tattoo our names on the body part of choice. For shit's sake, I'm already feeding everyone. I have to give them mementos, too?"
"Well, you don't have to, necessarily-"
"Then that's settled. What else? Am I supposed to pay everyone's electric bill, too?"
"Now you're being snippy."
"Get me some Xanax and I won't be. Get me a whole bunch and I'll give them out as favors."
Conversation number 2:
"Are you following tradition?"
"You know...something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue."
"My dad's walking me down the aisle. He's old."
"You don't know much about weddings, do you?"
This will not go over well, and he so didn't mean anything by it, but my rather robust fiance bought this t-shirt to wear to Aruba. I fear they will prove him wrong after seeing that.
My conversation with Virginia about turning six:
"Mommy. I don't feel six."
"Really? Well, I don't feel thirty-two."
"I feel more like I'm eight."
"Huh. What does eight feel like, exactly?"
"Just...kind of...you know, weird."
"No, honey, that's thirteen. You're confusing eight with thirteen."
"Oh. Okay. I feel thirteen."
"Fabulous. Now, take that makeup off and go to your room young lady!"
"I'm not wearing makeup. And I like my room."
"Definitely not thirteen, honey. Six. Sorry."
On actually being thirteen:
"Devon, do you ever listen to me?"
"Are you listening to me, now?"
"Not so much."
"Well. Ok. At least you're honest."
Parenting is easy.
"Tracie, I don't think I can take much more. Between this wedding and Virginia's impending birthday party and remodeling the house and work and getting on the pill, then dropping the pill, I think I could seriously go crazy. And I'm not kidding. I quit drinking, for the most part, and I can't even get anyone to do a load of laundry around here. I make this enormous life change and all I ask for in return is someone to wipe their own pee off the rim every now and then. I'm fucking losing it. What would you do?"
Silence for a moment as she ponders my dilemma. And then:
"Start drinking again."
My daughter's birthday party was this weekend at Chuck E. Cheese. I accidentally scheduled this blessed event on the day my son was to take his SAT (he's only 13, but it's part of a gifted program), so that morning, I kissed Chris & my children, passed out the tequila shots and we all went our separate ways.
Later that afternoon, as I was desperately trying to make conversation with a bunch of Virginia's friends mothers (conversations that were painful, stilted and awkward until I discovered that Chuck E. Cheese serves beer. BEER. Pure marketing fucking genius), Chris finally showed up with a very pale Devon.
Now, Chris is charm. He can talk to anyone and make them feel at ease. I flapped my hands in the direction of the women and gave him that look with my eyes that said, "I know absolutely nothing about PTA or casseroles or cross stitch, so, once again, I don't fit in. FIX IT." He made his way over and began melting thighs while I stood by and sucked in my stomach. When one of the women noticed Devon hiding behind me, she inquired about his identity, so I introduced him.
"Nice to meet you, Devon," says Mrs. Aquanet. (I couldn't remember names. I could only remember attributes.)
After another uncomfortable moment while Devon continued to stare at her, slack-jawed, I panicked.
"Oh, shit, he doesn't speak English. Excuse us!" I herded him away while they all gaped at me. When we got somewhere quiet, I rounded on him.
"Devon! What is the matter with you? Basic manners, son. She says it's nice to meet you and you drool on her shoes. What's wrong, honey?"
He fixed me with a glazed, somewhat psychotic look.
"A train leaves the station at 3:30 p.m. going 14 miles per hour with 822 passengers. A man spits 3 ounces of water off the side of the train and it blows in a northwestern direction for 38 feet. What is the circumference of an elephant's ass based on the information you have been given?"
"Oh. Go wait in the car. I'll make apologies and we'll go home and finish off the tequila."
He weaved his way drunkenly through the restaurant, bumping into kids and screaming like a girl when Chuck E. Cheese patted him on the back.
Now I remember why I started smoking the week of the SAT's.
They're just taunting me with these images, now.