Attacking Life with Comedic Jaws of Sarcasm. Recovering Dating & Relationship Blogger - Made it to Step 12 When I Got Married.

Category: Velvet in Dupont (Page 1 of 11)

Fin

Seven years ago from today, I started Velvet in Dupont. At that time, the focus was on being newly single and dating again while living in a nice gay neighborhood like Dupont Circle.

I wish I knew then…blah blah blah.

After a couple years of sheer misery, I finally connected with X, who I had known for years, and we packed it in for the long haul.   What I learned about living a life publicly is that it’s fine when it’s just you, but when you have other people to consider, revealing what’s going on in your life is tough for them. They didn’t sign up for it, but are just being taken along for the ride. Lucky for me, X has thick skin and he’s a good sport.

Coming out about our infertility struggle was especially difficult. It was over a year before enough had happened that I just had to talk about it. I like to think that our years of dealing with DC area fertility clinics, some of which are clearly very incompetent, was beneficial to at least one person who read about it here.

X and I are coming up on our 2nd anniversary but we will experience a milestone more important before that day.

We are days away from welcoming our first child into the world.

I know, I know, how could I keep this from everyone. Well, I kept waiting for something to go wrong. I suddenly felt like shielding this part of my life from the public – just in case. We’re about to be responsible for another life and I have a few thoughts about that. First, we have to protect that life to the ends of the earth. Second, we have to use whatever means necessary to do so.

I had to reevaluate some relationships in my life and really give them a thorough once-over. I had to have some conversations like, “I know we’re friends but if this behavior continues, I’ll have to move on.” And I had to really look at some family relationships to determine – is it even worth it anymore? Some of those relationships sadly didn’t survive either. It was my version of nesting I suppose.

It’s been a wonderful seven years, but we’re pleased to begin the next chapter in more privacy. You can always get me by email at velvetindupont@yahoo.com.

xoxo

Here Comes the Sun

Uggh. I can’t believe I’ve neglected the poor Velvet blog for this long. Actually, I’ve neglected all my writing endeavors, save a few cryptic notes on my feelings about a long standing family drama that’s come to a head.

X and I have had a very busy summer. There have been work and vacations. We wrote an offer (that wasn’t accepted) on a house in the Keys. We’re still planning on buying our next home there though. Sammy and Thora had a summertime brush with fame when they endeared themselves to one of my favorite actors – Sean Hayes. Actually, it was less a “brush” and more of an intended bump-into. Let’s see…my ex, Sammy and Thora’s original daddy, had texted this spring that he’d like to try to see the dogs. They are almost 12 now, and he said he would rather see them now than when there’s an eleventh hour phone call. Shudder. I don’t like to think about that day. Anyway, he is in the movie business, and we went to see him on our way home from Florida. By “we” I mean, Mr. X and I.

I know what you are thinking, but it wasn’t awkward at all. In fact, to me, it was like just getting two of my closest friends in one place. See, when you have long term relationships with people who aren’t psychos, they can manage to function in the presence of each other without wanting to kick each other’s asses. And so there I sat at some high school cafeteria in Cartersville, Georgia, eating lunch with my husband and the man who was almost my husband, with Sammy and Thora and with Sean Hayes behind us. It was mega-cool. My ex brought us to meet Sean and he got down and started playing with Sammy and Thora. Sammy gave him his resume, but Sean wasn’t interested in employing a bacon-eating, bark-a-tron corgi from Washington, DC.

Our 1 year anniversary was July 23rd – yay! We came home from our vacation of bliss and started IVF again. Happy Anniversary to us!   Actually, it isn’t that bad at all. We’re with Shady Grove – where we probably should have stayed from the beginning. I’m in the middle of the shots and other than being sleepy all the time, I feel pretty good. We have a couple days to go, then egg retrieval and the rest of the fun stuff.   The only other time we did the fully stimulated IVF was the mega-disaster with the worst of the worst – Washington Fertility. That was 18 months ago. That round was during the big February snowstorms. When the area lost power, and all my eggs died, we had to wonder if the lab lost power as well. It was somewhat calculated that this time we would do this in the summer so there were no weather complications. Except I miscalculated for the time that X had to go get his vials of frozen sperm and have to run them from storage in Virginia to the lab in Maryland when it was 110 degrees. It’s actually comical.

I’m not going to get into boring scientific specifics, but comparing that cycle to this one where my ovaries are responding a bit slower, I will say that time means everything after 35. And this is coming from a woman with zero reproductive issues. Zero. So if you are on the fence and you’re mid-thirties, get cracking. Don’t wait because now instead of just facing Mr. X’s snippy snippy issue, we have my apparent Indy-500 race into menopause.

It was just yesterday I was doing keg stands. Now I’m looking for retirement homes in Florida and counting my eggs and hoping they hatch. But it’s been a great summer thus far. Hopefully it will get better.

Now That I’m Starting to Learn I Feel I’m Growing Old

Damn It’s busy. The nature of my work seems to come in waves and I’m in the middle of one now. Then of course all the other crap that comes with life slaps me around and I have to delegate half of my “to-do” list to X, which doesn’t exactly thrill him. I don’t believe this will let up until mid-June, at which point, X and I are going on an early 1 year anniversary trip. More on that in a second.

Let’s see. Other updates. About a month ago I had a fight with Gloom, she hung up on me, and that was that. We haven’t talked since. I didn’t deserve that treatment and until someone can grow up and act like an adult, I have nothing to say.

I flew down to Florida for a couple days to see my dad and drive with him back up the coast to the gates of hell to my parent’s house and I saw the infamous White House crashing Salahi’s in the airport. Yeah, I know. Boring. Worse was that I called my gay friend and he was like, “OH MY GOD I LOVE HER GO GET A PICTURE” so I stalked them through the terminal. Yeah, I know. Loser. I finally found them sitting in an empty gate waiting to board a flight going to New York. The weird thing was they were sitting in a row of seats, with 2 empties between them. My gay friend dared me to go sit between them. And of course my Real Housewives message board friends reported that the Salahi’s were doing Celebrity Rehab and something with TMZ which maybe explained their trip. Yeah. I know. I need a life.

I started a contract job for a friend of mine, managing a community in Maryland. It’s good to be back on a schedule because working for myself and trying to stick to a clock, well, I am the sucks. I don’t hold myself to any sort of goal structure and I’m really easy on myself. It’s better for me to actually have to report to someone else. X says I can report to him but those days are over. He’s my bitch now!

Speaking of not being on a schedule, in my other life as the Real Estate Agent, I had a transaction with unbelievable dreams for clients – just the sweetest, funniest, smart-about-real estate people you would want. The problem would be the agent on the other side of the transaction. I used to take the comments about Real Estate Agents personally, but this person made me realize why people HATE Real Estate Agents. I’m embarrassed to share a profession with this person, much less walk the same earth.

The plan to move to NY is on hold, I’m not sure for how long. See aforementioned phone call hang up and somehow my idea to move back there doesn’t seem as good. Maybe I’ll change my mind again but for right now, the money is here, the jobs are here, and so it makes the most sense to stay put. I can’t believe it either. It’s certainly not my first choice, but that’s where we are.

Okay, so the anniversary trip. I believe I have hatched my most brilliant idea since, well, ever. We all know real estate in Florida has taken one of the worst dives in the country…so…I was thinking. Wouldn’t now be a good time to snap up a condo in Florida, plan to pay it off, then retire there in 20 years? The benefit of marrying someone older is they’ll have to retire when you’re still young and spry and you’ll be the hottest trophy wife in Del Boca Vista. Hopefully.

Retirement homes. These are the things that make me happy now. I know. It’s totally different than the old days of Velvet where I used to start out with “So this guy pulled out his cock at a bar.”

Concrete Jungle Where Dreams Are Made

It’s been a busy few weeks.

Anyone who knows a Greek family knows they are incapable of living more than 11 feet from their parent’s front door. Greeks just don’t like it when they can’t throw Baklava at you. And as Gloom proved to me today, she doesn’t like it when she can’t slam the phone down on me. I didn’t even do anything this time.

Never mind that fact, I have wanted to move back to NY/CT since about 4 minutes after I left, in November, 1998.   Not to say that living in Atlanta for 3 years, Baltimore for 2 and DC for 7 hasn’t been eye-opening, but I’d like to get back to the place where the pizza is good, the F word runs rampant and the Yankees are a baseball team instead of the Civil War “losers.” I’ll also tell you a secret. People are nicer in NY. Don’t ask me why because I don’t know either. I find the people in DC to be the rudest I’ve ever encountered. I love playing Sidewalk Chicken – who will move out of whose way first. I always lose. People see fit to push you into a tree box here, yet in NY, the sidewalk traffic somehow moves harmoniously in all directions. New Yorkers are just smarter I guess.

Operation “Claw My Way Back to the Big Apple” has been in full force and after months years of job hunting, I received a job offer. X was painting the ceiling (he’s my Agador Spartacus now) when I walked into the living room holding my phone, reading from the email. He got down off the ladder and sat on the couch. I felt my legs give out and sat on the chair.

X: Why are you crying?
Velvet: Because I can’t believe it’s finally over.
X: The job search?
Velvet: No, living here. I can’t believe that it’s finally over.

I never thought I would have such an emotional reaction to the idea of moving back home.

That night I had a dream as vivid as I have ever had. It involved me going to work at the company, and bringing Sammy and Thora with me, then trying to sneak them around so no one would see them. I went out for lunch and got locked out of the office and had to climb through the window but I was unable to get Sammy and Thora back inside and I had to leave them in the yard outside the office building. I had to go back to work, and I wasn’t able to watch them to make sure they didn’t run off somewhere.

When I woke up, X was at a meeting. I was alone. Within an hour, I was almost hyperventilating. Stupid dream. Something was going on in my brain about this job and Sammy and Thora and I just couldn’t figure it out.   X and I went up to NY and looked for places to live. We spent a day buzzing around and figured out we’re actually better off buying than renting. Yes. Even now.

Then I don’t really know what to say, but something wasn’t right. The job wasn’t right, the feel of moving back home didn’t feel right, it just felt like I either missed the bus, or the next one was coming, but this isn’t the bus I’m supposed to board. It pained me tremendously, but I turned the job down. Life resumed in D.C. as though this little blip never occurred.

In Real Estate, every time the phone rings your world gets shuffled all over again. It only took a few days before things that were “on hold” materialized, stuff changed, and suddenly I’m busy. I’m very much a believer in fate and that there really are no coincidences – things happen the way they are supposed to. Why is one career in one city working out so well when another in the city where I want to be doesn’t feel right?

The other night, just as I was falling asleep, I said out loud, “Ohhhh…..so that’s why…..”

X said, “What are you talking about? Are you sleeping?”

I said, “That’s why I wasn’t supposed to take that job. DC isn’t done with me yet. There’s something else here. That’s why I just got the client that I did.”

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas from Sammy, Thora and I. If they would have just sat up like I asked…you wouldn’t be able to see that I have paint cans stored in my fireplace, and that my sideboard is in front of the fireplace. We had to do some rearranging to fit the chinchillas, who, by the way, don’t say Merry Christmas. They are too busy in their dust bath, where they have been for the past hour.

X (my husband) asked me yesterday what the title of my previous post meant and I think I was shocked. It’s a line from “Do They Know It’s Christmas.” All my titles come from song lyrics.   I thought the last post was obvious given the time of year and how often that song is being played. Oh well.

Anyway, my implication in the choice of title is not that we need to spread all our money all over the place and take care of everyone, but the recession and bank bailouts are still pretty fresh in everyone’s mind. Sympathy runs low for people who (may or may not) have thousands of dollars to spend on a purse when other people are suffering tremendously. Is it unfair to tell someone what they should or shouldn’t do with their money? Sure, in theory. But many of these people came by their wealth in not so honest ways. We found out a lot of people lied about a lot of things where other’s livelihoods were at stake and their own personal ones only stood to gain wealth because of it.

Remember how after September 11th, people were just nicer for a while? Eventually people returned to their former ways because you can’t grieve forever. But the recession is still happening. And it’s not going anywhere just yet – at least not for most of us. Most of us are still under water. Hopefully 2011 is better for everyone, and maybe next year if we find the same Christmas List on the Metro North, it won’t be as much of a shock.

Well Tonight Thank God It’s Them Instead of You

My brother and I have decided not to exchange Christmas presents this year.   Instead, we are going to help someone in need. You know how they have those Christmas Lists that kids write and they get printed in the paper? Well, we got way lucky.   My brother found someone’s Christmas List on the Metro North, while commuting from NYC back to Connecticut! Actually, the guy who was sitting next to him forgot it when he was collecting the rest of his fancy Wall Street Investment Reports and got off the train in Mamaroneck.

I would like to propose that we all band together and get this poor girl the items from her “dream wish list.” I think this girl has really and truly embraced the spirit of Christmas. Her boyfriend already put notes next to everything so some of the legwork is even done for us!

 

Let’s pause for some commentary. I like how her poor, obviously long-suffering boyfriend, put a question mark next to bicycle and “whatever the newest Chanel makeup is (as long as I don’t already have it.)” What is this guy supposed to do? Look through your makeup bag, take notes, and then go to the counter and say “Give me everything newer than this?” I also love that she misspelled Kerastase and he inserted the “S.” He seems detail oriented. (I have a theory that there are two types of people in the world: Detail Oriented and Big Picture. Detail oriented are the ones who crunch the numbers, dot the I’s, cross the T’s, and make sure the bills are paid on time. They are your Assistants, Associates, Analysts, etc, and they do not typically make a lot of money. The Big Picture people are the geniuses who see the path to success, the ones who can make it all happen, the movers and shakers. A Big Picture person would dispense this nonsense list to his assistant to handle so he could go off to make more money.) I think “Ivana More Stuff” set her sights on someone who may not be able to pay for her lofty ambitions.

She also wants Louis Vuitton City Guides, which you can clearly get on the cheap by another publisher. Has she heard of Fodors? Frommers? Phonies? Okay, maybe not that last one. But, she wants classic literature cheap. In fact, that’s the only thing she is price sensitive to. Poor Dickens is rolling over in his grave right now.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way- in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

How…fitting.

Oh, and speaking of things that fit, on to the shoes!

I would love to post a picture of the Louboutins, however, those fuckers defied all previous fashion norms and managed to copyright that stupid red sole they have. I worked in Fashion for a few years and this is unprecedented! Designers just had to live with being knocked off. So, anyone who posts a picture of their shoes gets slammed with a copyright infringement notice. I will, however, give you this link.

Let’s keep going.

 

The purses. This bitch is so into purses. Men, please listen up. Any girl who obsesses this much over purses at this price level is wasting your time. There will always be some new, fancier, more expensive purse she needs to have – and don’t think it ends there. If $1000 purses don’t keep her appeased, she’ll be trading you like yesterday’s Louis in no time.   And if she’s spending all her time making lists for you with links to all the places you can find such purses, guess what she’s not doing? Yeah that’s right big guy. You’ll have to figure out how to make that thing throw up all by yourself.

I had to check the price on the Cartier Love Bracelet. While Cartier won’t give you prices, it does appear it is $6200 according to other websites. Yowsers. Honey, I know you’re living in a bubble…a purse and Cartier filled bubble with your noise canceling ear phones on, but we’re in a recession. R E C E S S I O N. Do you know how many people will claim less than $6200 in income this year on their taxes? Probably one for each perfectly coiffed hair on your head.

Last part of the list.

My dog and I are currently sharing a chenille blankie that set me back $29. I’m warm though. I wonder how much warmer I would be if I were under the fancy Hermes Orange blanket. Would I be $1096 warmer? I dunno.

All right. So we have a plan laid out in front of us. If 150 of us can each contribute a dollar to this poor thing, we can buy her the Smythson Passport Cover.

Who’s with me?

Home Sweet Home

X and I have too many places to live and not enough jobs so we had to jettison his place in the burbs. He is supposed to be moving in with me this weekend. Supposed to be.

I know what you are thinking: What is this unconventional bullshit marriage where he lives in one state and she in another? Yes yes, I know. But for reasons that make sense only to us, (kids/schools/commuting issues) we decided to split our time in this fashion. My place is pretty small so I can’t exactly say I’ve been aching to have him move in with me. I was hoping that one of a few things would happen.

1) I would get a job in NY and we would move.
2) I would get a job in NY and we would move.
3) I would get a job in NY and we would move.

Kids, not only is getting a job in NY a damn near impossible feat when you’ve spent your career in real estate, but I think that the market up there has officially gone into hibernation for winter. Any lead I had for a job was “put on hold.” And I don’t want to take a job that is tenuous, I want something that is going to last, because I am not trying to break any records for having qualified for unemployment in the most states.   But, because there are kids, and schools to think of, we may have to go this summer no matter what. Of course I know what will happen. I’ll have a bunch of clients here and I won’t be able to leave. X and the kids will move up there and wait for my visits.

See. Everyone fucking gets to move to NY except me. I’ve been saying this for years. It’s really starting to piss me off.

Anyway, back to this move. We had everything scheduled for this weekend, and today the god damned elevator finally said “enough.” It’s officially sleeping for at least 10 days. I can’t say I blame it to be honest. I live in a building with a few dentists, and that elevator brings their lazy asses from 1 to 2 from 2 to 1 all. day. long. oh. my. god. take. the. fucking. stairs.

Normally the elevator thing wouldn’t bother us. In fact, we already got a bunch of boxes down to the car so we can get them out to Delaware. But we have to get my sleigh bed out, plus mattress and boxspring, and get his platform bed up here. I still didn’t draw the line here. I was willing to do this up and down the stairs. It’s at this point where the straw broke the camel’s back.

 

Oh? Have I not mentioned the chinchillas?

 

Arrgh. I cannot bring those monsters up the stairs in their cage. If we don’t keep the cage upright their poop will fly out and frankly, with the way I expect to be bitching, there’s a chance I’ll get rodent poop in my mouth. Then there’s the possibility that someone won’t have a good grip and they’ll go flying back down the stairs. So, no, they must be moved in the elevator.

They are so freaking cute but 2 people, 2 dogs and 2 chinchillas.

In 600 square feet.

I actually figured out we can just barely fit them in, but it involves storing furniture in the fireplace. I wish I were kidding.

Hey. Does anyone want 2 chinchillas? I don’t want to give them away but X is making me.

Still the Same

Look how smashingly versatile I am!

In November, 2001, I went up to Connecticut for what is, up there, notoriously the best night to go out of the year: The night before Thanksgiving. Everyone is back in town, excited about being home, excited about the holiday, and excited about whatever. I went out with a bunch of friends, among the group being my lunatic ex-boyfriend, TheCop. This would be our last outing together as he proved, yet again, that being alone with me and keeping his cock inside his pants (despite the fact that his wife was lingering around,) was an impossible task.

In November, 2004, my friend Pitstop and I went to Italy for 10 days over Thanksgiving. She just said the other day, as she tried to pull her 2 year old out of a planter in front of her house, “That was the best Thanksgiving ever.” We saw the Pope, someone masturbated on me on a bus in Rome, and I found out that Popeye in Italian was the funniest thing ever. I also bought a CD from which I snagged my bridal march song 6 years later. That was one of the best trips ever.

In November, 2005, I went to my friend’s house for Thanksgiving, where I acted as his beard. His mother was very upset to find out I married someone else this past summer. I said, “Maybe it’s time to tell your mom you like to take it in the ass?”

In November, 2006, I dragged Sherlock to have Thanksgiving with my Uncles in New Jersey. Sadly, both of my Uncles have since passed away, but it’s a Thanksgiving I’m, well, thankful I had.

This past November has been the final installment in the way of the Holiday wind-down. Where my holidays were once filled with carousing around the town, or the world, now, I’m just a homebody.

X and I spent last weekend spoiling #2, as for a variety of reasons, he has somewhat fallen into the cracks. We joked at dinner about playing Scattergories, and when we got home he was pulling out the game. That kid makes me laugh so hard. When the letter was “C” and the category was “things you clean” I started laughing and said I had a great answer for that one. #2 said, “I’m going to put it too so you don’t get points for it!” I wrote “clock” because as we all know, it’s a statement to say, “I’m going to clean your clock,” which has a drastically different meaning from “cleaning one’s cock.” Well, he was totally embarrassed when he realized I changed my answer and he would have to now read the word in front of us. He opted to forego the point, despite the fact that X and I tackled him to see what he really wrote. Awesome.

Later when the category was “things you do on a rainy day” and the letter was “M” and I said “masturbate,” X told me I’m not a good influence on the kids. Oops.

It must have been the theme of the night because when the letter was “W” and the category was “things you play with,” he said, “Willy.” We just looked at him. X said, “What’s Willy?” He said, “You know, Dad, when I was little?” I said, “I’ve never heard of a friend named Willy.” He said, “No, that’s what little kids call it. The willy. You know…” I started to laugh so hard, I was willing to grant 10 points for that answer. These are not where his talents end, by the way. X and I love that Megatouch game at the bars. We play the photo hunt game where you have to find the five mistakes in the picture. That kid can spot them 20 feet away – which is helpful because he’s underage and they don’t let teenagers within 20 feet of the bars.

Then, that night we had to help him with his paper for school. My parents were pretty hands-on with school because they wanted us to get through it with the best grades possible. If we asked for help, they really dove in and helped us, they didn’t just answer from another room.   So, I dove into that paper and we did it. He had to do a presentation, but talking it out with him for a few hours while we wrote the paper really helped him deliver the speech as well. But he also had to do a commercial, damn these kids are smart. I still wouldn’t know how to do a commercial. Shit, I wanted to make a mini video of our wedding to music and I am going to have to ask the 14 year old to help me. Stupid full circle coming around to hit me in the face.

Anyway lovers, Happy Thanksgiving. We’re going to our little bungalow at the beach and we’re going to cook up a storm. Damn. Homework? Cooking? Who is this woman and what has she done with the former, slutty Velvet in Dupont? I’m like, domestic now and stuff.

Each One is Different But They’re Always the Same

I called Zippy and his wife tonight to see how they were doing. Zippy was putting the kids to sleep, but his wife CornHusk and I got to catch up. Why CornHusk? She’s from Iowa. Duh.

When Zippy came out of the room there was some mumbling in the background. Then, the following.

CornHusk: You spent 3 hours with Zippy’s Mom yesterday?
Me: Well, yeah. He was like our Dad too. I feel awful for her.
Zippy: Your stock went up with her today. She’s been talking about you all day.
Me: Aww. Well, I found her some support groups. I’m sending Gloom and Doom over with that info tomorrow because I’m heading back to the shithole.
CornHusk: Are you really moving back here? When I saw your face at the viewing I just realized how much I miss you.
Me: Yeah, that is the plan. I hate it there. X is on board too, so we’re working hard on coming back. Just need a job. Well, one of us does.
CornHusk: You know what job I thought of for you? You should be a blogger! You would do a great job making fun of all these bitchy snotty Connecticut women.
Me: Yeah, I don’t know. I’ve been writing that stupid dating / relationship blog for over 5 years now…
Zippy: [inaudible in the background]
CornHusk: OH YEAH! We were playing the “who hooked up with the most people at the viewing” game the other night! I forgot about you and TheCop! That might put you in the lead.
Me: That’s the game you were playing at your Father’s Viewing? Damn.   This is why I had to move out of here to begin with. I hooked up with too many guys. Ran low on inventory.
CornHusk: Would you live with your mom and dad while you looked for a place?
Me: Oh. My. God. No. Do you want me to get divorced? No way. Besides, this entire house is worthy of a whole season of Hoarders. This morning I picked up a stack of papers that was sitting on the last available space of furniture and said, ‘What is this crap? It looks like garbage.’ They all denied it was theirs and I started looking at it. Tickets to the Louvre from 1999, labels off wine bottles I guess they liked, maps of Paris from 1995. I started ripping it all up. When no one claimed it, I shredded it and threw it out. You have to shred it or it gets rescued from the trash.
CornHusk: Good for you! We’re OCD over here, so that doesn’t happen!
Me: Yeah, I keep a pretty lean inventory of junk, but even this visit makes me want to go back home and throw out 10 more bags of stuff!

The short answer is, yes, they are back to Gloom and Doom. In fact, as I sit here writing this, I can hear them bickering in their room as they prepare for bed. Damn. It’s always something.

CornHusk: Don’t you hope that we never get like that?
Me: I do, and I hope it’s not so ingrained in my genes that it manifests itself down the road.

Shudder. Does anyone have the number to the producers for Hoarders?

I’ve Lived in This Place and I Know All the Faces

The Velvet Family (the one I was born into, not the one I married) lost a very good friend of 40+ years last week.   As neighbors, our family was intertwined with theirs. Their youngest son Zippy and my brother are best friends. Zippy’s wife is one of my best friends. Our parents were longstanding friends, doing favors for each other that signify a genuine friendship that is so rare these days.   Our dear friends lost their father and husband.

The viewing and funeral resulted in my brother driving 800 miles and me driving 250, both like maniacs, to get to the viewing in time. What is typically a sad event was actually enjoyable because of all the old friends and old faces who got to see each other again. As X says, they only convene for weddings and funerals.

My parents and brothers went to the viewing as I was still stuck in the Bronx, trying to make it in time. We decided I would meet them there. When I arrived, I was instantly thrown into a hazy fog of recognizing people but not being able to remember their names. The funny thing about small towns is if you live there your whole life, you don’t forget anyone. I’ve lived in so many places that my brain is diluted. I know so many people that names just don’t come to me as fast as I want. The other funny thing about small towns, as I told Zippy when he rattled off a list of who had been there is, when you realize you dated everyone in town, it’s time to leave.

Goombah #1: I was just looking at the pictures of your mom and dad. Your mom was hot back in the day!
Zippy: Yeah, she’s available now, you want to ask her out?
Goombah #1: You’re not right. How’s your brother taking all this.

We looked over at Zippy’s older brother, pacing near the casket holding their father, and Zippy said, “We haven’t told him yet.”

At least he hasn’t lost his sense of humor.

My parents left earlier than I did. I stayed behind talking with a few people until I looked up and realized, yes, the balance of power tipped out of my favor. I said my goodbyes and went back to my parent’s house, where our childhood neighbor and my brother’s other bestie, Potato, was planted at our dinner table. What ensued between my parents, brothers, Potato and myself was probably the funniest and yet most comforting of conversations I’ve had in months. I went in and sat at the table.

Mom: Oh, you’re home.
Me: Yeah. After you guys left the last hour became a parade of my ex-boyfriends so I knew it was time to leave.
Potato: Who? I forgot some of these people!
Brother #2: We bumped into half her portfolio on the way out. [To me:] Hey. Get out of my chair.
I moved down a seat. He comes to dinner once a decade and it’s still his seat?
Potato: Hey, was that Tony Castinatta?
Me: THAT’S who that was. I couldn’t remember his name!
Potato: Okay, good, I thought I called him by the wrong name. After I said ‘Hi Tony’ I questioned myself and felt really bad for not remembering his name.
Me: That wouldn’t be the worst thing that’s happened to Tony Cas. The worst thing to happen to Tony Cas was when his wife started sleeping with her twin sister’s husband.
Potato: WHAT?
Me: How did you miss this? This was the scandal that rocked the entire eastern seaboard.
Brother #1: They’re twins?
Me: Yeah, identical. Weird, right.
Mom: I can’t believe you were one of the only ones who knew this all these years.
Me: Me either.
Potato: What ever happened to Jenny Simpson? She was so hot.
Brother #2: Time wasn’t so good to her. She peaked at 17 years old.
Mom: Her mother got a DUI, I read.
Potato: Yeah, she was leaving a country club, right? One of the ones in the back country. Oh, what’s the name…

At this point my father, mother, both brothers and I had a totally blank look on our faces as he tried to remember the name of said country club.

Me: Look around you. Who do you think you’re talking to? We’re not ‘in the know’ on country clubs. If you want to know where the nearest dumpster is, there’s your man [points at Dad] but naming a country club? Who do you think we are?
Dad: Good one Velv. [To Potato:] How’s your mother doing?
Potato: She’s broke again.
Dad: When she sold her house in the 90’s, your father told me to try to talk to her about her spending when I gave her the check for the proceeds.
Brother #1: Is that check still in your pocket?
Everyone laughed.
Potato: That didn’t work. Though she does work for a consumer debt restructuring outfit, she still has no money and $40 grand in credit card debt.
Brother #1: Is she dating anyone?
Potato: Not since that guy who wrote me a letter telling me I was a loser.
Dad: I remember reading that letter!
Brother #1: Didn’t you have a fist fight with him?
Potato: Almost!

Potato had to get back home to Jersey. But, he stood in our driveway for 20 minutes. He didn’t want to go. He kept looking over at his old house, directly across the street from my parent’s house, and wondering aloud what was going on in there.

When he left we went back inside and I said, “Tonight all five of us are sleeping in the house. Wow. It’s been a long time since it was all five of us, and just the five of us.”

Brother #1: At least 15 years.
Mom: At the rate the economy is going, all of you guys are going to be living back here. I’ll have to line you up on the living room floor.
Me: You would love that.
Mom: I would. It would be great to have all my babies back home.

And it would be great to be back. There’s no place like home.

Standing Here Waiting As I’m Breaking in Two

When the plane hit the first tower and people in the other tower attempted to evacuate, 10 dollar an hour security guards directed, demanded by some reports, that everyone return to their desks. In hindsight, this of course seems to be the most asinine thing to happen. Someone with no knowledge of anything gave people information that led them to believe there was no imminent danger and it was safe to continue working. It cost many people their lives. Those security guards – they cost many people their lives because they didn’t know. I was part of a class in my graduate program which analyzed this situation. Ultimately the lesson learned was we are each responsible for our own fate and must operate at all times as if the information given to us is not fact, but rather something that may not have any basis in truth whatsoever.

The art of timing has managed to really fuck X and I. We’ve been operating on several assumptions presented to us by “people who were supposed to know.” People don’t always know, even when they say they do. I’m mad at myself, mostly because I studied the September 11th lesson. I should have known that even when it’s presented as fact, it isn’t always, and everything has to be questioned. We are trying to take control of the situation but are finding that we are losing control rather quickly and even though we did the best we could because “the people” told us so, it didn’t make it fact.

What is perhaps worse than losing control is that we’ve lost time. Being somewhere you didn’t expect to be and not being where you thought you would is really a mindfuck. And that is a reality we have to face every day.

Taking Me, To the Point of No Return

Dear Mom:

X went off on a business trip for five days and left me here to watch the roost. I am charged with keeping my eye on #1 since his mother decided to have a nervous breakdown and skip town go on a vacation for a couple days. Last night, when X and I and the two boys went to bed, the plan was for me to sleep in until a blissful 9:00. X was to shuttle #2 the 20 miles up the highway to his school while #1 took the bus, at which point X would drive directly to the airport. I heard something about the three of them planning to wake up at 5:45, but since my brain doesn’t register hours pre-sunrise, I wasn’t entirely sure.

When I woke up at 6:30 this morning, X was sleeping soundly next to me. I said, “Hey. Shouldn’t you be up?” He didn’t budge. I said louder, “Baby, aren’t you supposed to be up? You need to go.” He picked his head up and said, “Go where?” I said, “You’re going to Omaha today.”   I sort of felt responsible for this sleepy lapse in his memory because I demanded that we stay up until 2:30 fucking each other’s brains out talking. X flew out of bed and we stood there in a daze saying, “Did the kids leave for school?” (Considering #2’s school is 20 miles away, this was an extremely remote possibility.)

No such luck. They were sleeping too. X shuttled #1 to school, and I got to take #2 up to his school. Poor kid didn’t even get breakfast because we were so late. This should have been a clue of what these 5 days were going to be like.

X and I managed to sneak in a goodbye to each other on the side of the road; he left for his plane, I left for my meeting. I went about my day, noticing that the hours to the end of school and thus, #1’s imminent return were near. I got a text.

“I’m staying after with some friends. I’ll be home later.”

Um. Okay. In your house that would have had to be tremendously re-phrased to “Can I stay after with friends and come home at 5:00?” We always had to ask permission but I know X is a free-wheeling Dad of the new century, so I shrugged it off. After X’s plane landed, he called to tell me how he got hard on the plane thinking about everything we did last night that he landed safe. While we were talking, #1 beeped in.

“That’s your son. Hold on.”

At this point, I’m not sure which series of the Twilight Zone my life entered, but #1, X’s soon-to-be 16 year old son, asked the following.

“My girlfriend doesn’t have a ride home. Can she sleep over?”

Oh. MY. GOD! WHAT?? Mother!!! You in NO WAY prepared me for this. Let’s review.

The year is 1989. KFrat and I think we’re cool by smoking cigarettes. You found them in my coat pocket and grounded me for several months. You said, “When you have a child you’ll understand.” Listen to me you fucking liar. A cigarette would have been a god damned cakewalk compared to what I have had to deal with today. My brain is spinning. SPINNING. You had it way too easy!

I’m down one day, four to go. Tomorrow I have to be out of the house all day and #1 is off from school. There is no telling what kind of orgy this house will be witness to, but I’m otherwise committed and cannot get out of my appointments. I guess we’ll all just have to pray that I don’t become a step-grandmother before I become a mother.

Four days to go,

V

Here I Come But I Ain’t The Same, Mama I’m Coming Home

X and I journeyed to Connecticut this weekend. We went to see my parents and also make the rounds with some friends who we didn’t get a chance to really catch up with at the wedding. In an effort to continue my path of post-marriage change and in the spirit of “growing up,” I am continuing my focus on an area of my life which needed scrubbing. The Friends. I’ve continued to make unfortunate but necessary decisions in the way of some relationships and I had to really shakedown what I consider friendship to be. And instead of allowing Gloom and Doom to guilt my every single visit into being an audience for their sparring, I’m going to focus on getting X and I out in the world of Connecticut so we can hang out with my friends up there.

Nothing changes at la Casa Gloom and Doom. Every time I go up there my mother has pulled out “a box” I need to go through. Usually this task waits until I’m about to get in the car on Sunday, and she says, “Oh, you forgot to go through your stuff!”   This time though, I remembered early and asked her what and where these boxes were.

Kiddie books. Great.

Considering that X and I just got married, and that we’re no spring chickens, I would think maybe she would wait a year or so just to see if there’s a Baby-Velvet to become the owner of the books. Right now, I have absolutely no idea if I want these books or not.

I started pulling the books out, one by one. Then my mom came over and started pulling books out too, and making piles, and then I had absolutely no clue what I’d gone through already and what still needed attention. I made my focus the “give to nieces” pile, as I would ideally like to put most of the books there. The reason being, it gets them out of her house so I’ll stop hearing about them, and there is a remote chance a would-be Baby-Velvet might get the books back if/when she/he/it arrives. But is it this easy? Oh, nooooo. She has to pull every. single. book. out. And inspect it. And, she has to ask questions. OMFG!!!

Gloom: You don’t want this?
Me:
No. I don’t even remember that book.
Gloom:
Well, you should take 2 books with you every time you go see the girls and spread it out.
(I ignored her because I only see my nieces twice a year.)
Gloom:
Oh, I remember this book! THIS is a “donate?” I paid good money for this book!
(The sticker from Caldors, which closed over 20 years ago, indicates someone spent $1.34.)
Me:
JESUS MOM! What are all these piles? STOP taking books out of the boxes!!!
Gloom:
Well, I want to see these books!
Me:
Seriously, stop. You want me to go through them, I’m going through them.   Another for the nieces pile.
Gloom:
When you see the girls, just bring them two books.
Doom:
Are you two getting anywhere?
Me:
No, because she’s a pain in the ass! She keeps pulling the books out that I am trying to donate and trying to save them, and she is making 10 piles of books I haven’t gone through. You can’t throw anything away in this house because you guys rescue it from the garbage and make me go through it again next time I come up here!
Doom:
That’s your mother. I don’t do that.
Gloom:
I just like looking at the books.
Me: You live here and you have all the time in the world to look at these books. Now that I’m here, you need to let me do this.
Gloom: This box is heavy. Are you bringing all these to the girls? Just bring them two.
X: The kids will be 40 by the time she gets all the books to them.
Me: Yeah, seriously, stop saying that. I’m dumping this whole box there the next time I see them.

Ding dong!

Me: Who is at the door?
Doom: I’ll get it.

After a few minutes, my dad came back in the room with two t-shirts. He said their neighbor won them at a golf game and doesn’t want them so he gave them to my dad. He probably bought them at the mall because he’s sick of having to watch my dad mow the lawn shirtless. My mom got totally distracted and starts touching the shirts and asking if they are cotton and the two of them are cooing over the shirts. You cannot cure them of their packus-rattis-itis. Their motto is “more stuff is better than less stuff, and free stuff is the best kind of stuff to have.” I took this opportunity to quickly plow through the books without her TSA-like security inspection.

Then I looked at X and tried to telepathically say “Do you see the irony of them making me throw out this crap and someone shows up at their front door to give them more crap?” and X looked at me and tried to telepathically say “If you fucking turn in to your mother this marriage is over.”

I swear to Gucci, those two shirts will be in my next box of shit to go through.

Don’t Be No Fool, Don’t Advertise Your Man

The two big questions everyone seems to ask me now are “So are you selling your place?” (OMG STFU NO I AM NOT, GET YOUR GOD DAMNED MITTS OFF!) and “So is it different being married?”

Huh. Well, no. It’s not.

At least, not for X and I. Our relationship remains exactly the same, with a bit of a twist. I think I’m exactly the same. Granted, we’re only a month in, but yes, this is what I thought it would feel like. X keeps saying he’s on Cloud 9. I had to rationalize to him that he has something to compare this marriage to – another marriage. I have nothing to compare it to. I have lived my life knowing I wouldn’t get married unless I felt the way I feel about X. So when that happened, there you go. Married. No change. Just as I expected.

X married someone who was close but no cigar. Right time, wrong person, wrong decision I guess. When that went horribly wrong, he thought he would never get married again. Now that he’s entrenched in our marriage, he says he has such a different feeling. So okay, it’s different for him, but no, nothing has changed for me.

What is a surprise is that the marriage between X and I has changed some outside forces. I had a very extended conversation with an engaged bloggie friend, Carrie, and she mentioned that her single friends were acting weird, and she felt like a sellout. Girl. I felt your pain. Totally. I had some interesting reactions from single friends. I never was the rub-it-in-your-face-oh-my-god-look-at-my-ring type person. I was also the never I’ve-been-dreaming-about-my-wedding-since-I-was-five girl either. So when I got engaged, I didn’t exactly announce it to people. I just sort of let them figure it out.

Work was the funniest. Someone I barely see came up to me after a meeting and cooed, “I see something sparrrrrkly on your hand that wasn’t there the other dayyyy!!!” (He’s gay, obviously.) But people I see all the time, like my partner at work? Hilarious. I waved that thing in his face day after day and he never noticed.

So when I had some people over to celebrate Sammy turning 10 this past winter, one of my girlfriends who got there first saw the ring. Then as other people arrived, she asked, “Did you know about X and V got engaged?” Someone actually looked over at me, grabbed my hand to look at the ring, and said -wait for it – in front of X and his kids, “Why do I only hear the negative stuff?” Our other girlfriend hit the person on the arm as if to say “inappropriate” and instead of saying sorry and shutting the hell up, nope, she repeated it louder.

Not sure why this would be someone’s reaction. And if X were any different of a man, and had a different reaction, or a low self-esteem, this could have been detrimental for our relationship. I was pretty hurt by this comment, and therefore cut the communication until it became totally obvious by the “you’ve been ignoring me” email, so I presented my case. An apology was made, an apology was accepted, and life moved on.

I need to stop having a soft heart.

Six months later, in the throes of wedding planning, I began a systematic freak out, Velvet style. Amidst the pills, crying, and the “I should go to the Gulf and help clean the Pelicans” meltdown, I made the colossal mistake of mentioning my anxiety to the above person. While X and I were on our pre-wedding honeymoon where I was sans internet connection, I had to find out that something sat on my Facebook Wall, for all to see, for the better part of a fucking week. I believe it said something along the lines of, “So are you going to get married or not?”

Does anyone besides me see how hurtful this is?

So has anything changed at the one month and one day mark past our wedding date? Yeah. I’ve gotten smarter. I made my list of priorities and my husband is first. Friends for me are no longer half-assed. It’s all or nothing. If you can’t keep my confidences, if you’ve proven to not be a good friend to me or to someone else who I know of, if I couldn’t trust you alone with X despite the fact that he only has eyes for V, if you create unrelenting drama way beyond the garden variety nuttiness? I’m out.

I’m guessing the priority realignment happens again once there are kids. Maybe we’ll be lucky enough to find out. For now, I just know that I can no longer get sucked into drama, and I will no longer allow people to make drama for me, especially when it comes to X, who routinely asked me through the years, “Do you have any normal friends?” I kept telling him to just wait until he saw who made the very exclusive cut at the wedding. Four high school girlfriends, one girlfriend I met when I was 22 who coincidentally married my brothers best friend and his parents are best friends with my parents, and my friend from my crazy days in Atlanta. Shoot, one of my high school girlfriends witnessed our freaking marriage license for god’s sake.

X said, “I finally get it now. You’ve got an inner circle. I just hadn’t seen it before.” I like to think my credibility is restored in his eyes, once again.

My Heart Will Always Be Yours, Honestly

I’ve come up with an ingenious idea for not having video at the wedding. The Photographer’s pictures are back, and while they are just now only online, I’m waiting for the CD so I can work on my next project: One of those videos set to music with pictures that are in a slideshow format! With the song I walked down the aisle to! Eee!

There hasn’t been a lot going on over here, that’s for sure. Everything quieted down quite a bit after the wedding and now I can focus on the other neglected areas of my life. Such as…the plan that X and I are going to move to New York. I don’t know how long this will take, but we have the wheels in motion on this. I cannot tell you what will make me happier – finally, FINALLY going back home after 12 years, or that X will be with me and can enjoy the New York I know and love.

In any case, here are my favorites from the wedding. And in case you ask where X is, I have a favorite of us, but I think I will spare X of having his face plastered up here along with mine. It might be “for better for worse”   but I don’t think I should try to make good on that so soon after being married. After all, it is just three weeks today.

 

“C’mon Mommy! Let’s go get married already!”

 

If Sammy didn’t overshoot the aisle, this wouldn’t have taken so long.

 

Looking back on 5 years of blog…I never thought I would see this day either.

 

The jury is still out as to whose hand this is. I had originally blamed the King of the Dog Park, however, I believe that that might be X’s thumb. They both fessed up right away, which means, both of them were feeding Sammy a bevy of treats from the hors d’oeuvres

.

Once I introduced my sweet little niece to the dance floor, we couldn’t stop her. The funniest part is that we had an evening wedding and my brother was convinced this child would be sleeping by 7:30. Yeah. No way.

 

X and I are ready to go do this all over again. It was so much fun. I’m glad we didn’t elope.

Happy Weekend Everyone!

To Love Somebody, Naturally

It’s happening on Friday. I can’t believe it’s 2 days away.

Here’s the song we’ll play when the moms and my nieces-as-flowergirls enter:

 

I’d like Sammy and Thora to go down the aisle too during this time, but I’m thinking they won’t be able to figure that part out. There’s a left turn involved, and frankly, to be screaming “GO TO DADDY!” during the processional just seems ghetto. And ghetto and Connecticut don’t really belong in the same place. Though I would like to be the one who does bring the ghetto to the establishment, I’ll spare my mom. It’s bad enough she’s going to see all my tattoos when she’s getting me into my dress. I have to remember to bring her some valium. She’s so much more fun that way.

This is the song I’ll be walking down the aisle to:

Love it. Really love it. I’m so pleased with my music selection so don’t make fun!

There’s still a lot to do. I am amazed at how much work goes into planning a wedding. I should have hired a coordinator, but we were trying to make this a small, easy event. No such luck. We’re dealing with a crappy situation. It seems that despite the fact that X and I have made decisions and given instructions, nothing seems to go right with the venue. It’s incredibly frustrating. I love the place we picked. I don’t love the person we are stuck working with. I guess when one’s husband buys them a restaurant to run, they can pretty much do whatever they want. Or don’t want. They can ignore emails for weeks on end, they can ignore voicemails, and when they fax things to clients, they can put them in the fax machine backward so all the client gets are blank pages on their end. They can also tell clients that instead of having tables of 10 or tables of 8, they should have tables of 9. Are you a fucking idiot? Tables of 9? So you want me to split up husbands from wives, gays from partners, and moms from kids? I get that there aren’t that many people coming to this shindig, but damn.

Mommy is ready to go into mega-bitch mode. She’s starting every other sentence with “Do your father and I need to go down there?” OMG! NO!!!! We’ll be BANNED! I’m sure she’ll rip someone’s head off by the time this is over. Hopefully not a family member. Yikes. If I had to place bets, I still vote for my sister-in-law and mom are going to get into it. Let’s be clear though – Mommy is on my side right now. When she’s not, she’s Gloom. But for now, she’s on my side so she’s Mommy. I’m sure she and my dad will be back to Gloom and Doom soon enough.

The photographer (who I love to pieces) wants to take family pictures during the cocktail hour. I’ll have to break it to her that my dad will not take any time away from the Clam Chowder cups that will be passed during that hour, so she can pretty much stick that idea up her ass. I think she thinks she’s dealing with the Kennedy’s when she’s really getting the Simpsons.

Well lovers, I’m off. I have music to mix, dogs to bathe, gray hairs to spot-dye, mani’s and pedi’s to get, and I have to drive to Connecticut where the work of assembling the favors, writing out the place cards and drinking myself into a stupor must take place.

Then, sometime after all that is done, I get to kiss my husband.

Til What Do Us Part?

It is totally unintentional that my last post title deviated from my usual song lyric clip to part of the traditional marital vows, and that this one is another vow. But why “Til Death?” Are you no longer married after a death? Aren’t you always married in your heart?

My dear friend Lily, whose husband has been battling cancer for several years, passed away this morning. I am so very heartbroken and sorry for my friend.

In the last few weeks, she has sent me various texts or emails with thoughts and concerns she has about living a life solo, without her husband and sidekick of the last 20 years.   I hope if and when she ever reads this that she’s not upset that I am sharing the content of something she texted to me late one night.

She said, “I wish I could go back and do the last 19 years over, and cherish every moment.”   I responded and told her that just isn’t possible in reality. We always wish we could go back and do something over again, but the truth is that life sometimes gets crazy and busy and we forget to cherish the time we have. Or we don’t have time to. We have to leave our loved ones to work. We argue with our loved ones. We spend time apart for one reason or another. It’s just how it goes. We do our best to outweigh that with the positive and the moments we do cherish.

Perhaps this makes me less of an atheist than I think I am and more agnostic, but I prefer to believe that Lily’s husband is with his mommy right now, and that it’s way better there than it could ever be here.

Kisses to you Nick. Your impact on my friend’s life and the incredible, compassionate, loving husband you were to her and father to Nicholas will leave an imprint on their lives and hearts forever.

For Better For Worse

It’s been a rough weekend. I’m not going to get into all the details but I had a bit of an operation on Friday morning. X brought me home with all my pain meds and antibiotics, and took the pups for me so I didn’t have to walk them while feeling like a truck drove through my insides. The pain meds I had – Lortab, weren’t cutting it. Eau. Cutting. I should have picked another word. And so I pulled the big guns Oxycontin out of the back of the medicine cabinet. This is where the whole story goes horribly awry.

Saturday morning around 5:45 a.m., I woke up for a quick pee. When I was sitting on the toilet begging my bladder to wake up and get going already, I started feeling the hot then cold flash, then started to sweat instantly, then dizzy. Then bam! Nothing.

I woke up on the bathroom floor with my pants around my knees. Now, I know that this isn’t the first time I’ve woken up with pants around knees, but this wasn’t exactly the outcome I preferred. I crawled back to bed and texted X, who promptly came over and made me eat yogurt. Wow was I sick. Wow.

He left so I could sleep, then later in the day my neck started killing me and I got a ripping headache. I was scared I was going to die, so we started texting about what to do. We used to work with this guy who I hated, who was like 500 lbs. and last summer the guy fell in the middle of the night, after an operation, hit his head and died. So X says, “Even though we made fun of him, you’re going to the hospital.” Freckled K was at the restaurant across the street though and I had already texted her that I was in peril and she came running over. In under 3 minutes she had my doctor on the phone and told them I was in bad shape. Bitch don’t waste no time. He said I needed to go back to his office right away. X arrived and we get in the car on our way back there.

I got car sick on the way up and had to get out of the car and walk the last block while X parked, but averted the vom. We went inside and the doctor removed all the bandages, said I probably just bruised my head and I should be okay.   X said “She got scared because we have an old co-worker who died last summer after an operation when he fell.” So my doctor said, “What happened?” I said, “Oh, I don’t know, we never found out what happened when he hit his head.” It seemed like perfectly logical answer to me but X and the doctor both were like, “NO! WITH YOU! NOT THAT GUY!” Forgive me for not keeping up with you girls, but I’m working on a 3 day empty stomach and Courtney Love’s prescription plan.

Anyway, we left and we’re driving back and of course it’s like All-Embassy Open House day. I got sick again and told X I had to vom. He said, “We’re on Massachusetts, I can’t pull over, look at all the people!” There were tons of people everywhere. Of course this would be my luck. X was trying to turn left on S Street and I stuck my head out the window and projectile vomited orange gatorade all over the place. Just as it was flying out of my mouth, cars started to pass X on the right. Because all these people had parked on the side of Mass, and because it’s only 2 lanes right there, they were squeezing by between our truck and the parked cars. And there I am, spraying vomit all out the window. I swear there was splatter inside someone’s 5 series Beemer, as well as the car behind it. X pulled over after we turned the corner and I finished the vomiting and we went home.

X was like, “My favorite part of today was you throwing up orange vomit in front of like 1000 people in line at the Embassy of Zambia and getting some into the cars passing by.

Let that be a lesson to all. Passing on the right? Illegal!

When You Love Me, I’m On Top of the World

Okay. I lied about something. I’m not as “together” with the wedding as these past few posts may have indicated. There’s something I haven’t told a soul until, well, Sunday when X and I were walking the dogs and it just sort of popped out. I’ll just re-enact that.

X: How many nights are we blocking on the hotels? When do we leave for Connecticut?
Me: I was thinking Thursday.
X: Thursday? We’re getting married Friday. Is that going to be enough time?
Me: Well I hadn’t really planned on leaving earlier because of the dress.
X: What do you mean?
Me: Well, the dress will probably come in that week. I’m not sure what day.
X: Wait. What? What are you talking about?
Me: The dress. My dress. Should arrive that week.
X: Okay, and are you planning on having any alterations?
Me: Um. Well. I was sort of hoping no.
X: Is this a joke?
Me: No. Do I look like I’m joking?
X: Velvet. When are they shipping your dress?
Me: July 10.
X: And how long will it take to arrive?
Me: I don’t know. They said 10 days to get through customs.
X: Aren’t you worried?
Me: Frankly, yes, but the manager called them and assured me the dress would be here on time. I haven’t really wanted to believe anything otherwise.
X: What if it doesn’t get here in time?
Me: I don’t want to talk about this. At all. I don’t want to believe anything other than that this will all work out for me.

This is typical of me. I stick my head in the sand and hope that things will work out. I’ll control the hell out of the stupid details in life, but the big ones? I make rash decisions and fly by the seat of my pants on the details. It’s fun living like this to be quite honest because I can really get shit done. This is how I decided (and got) my real estate license in D.C., Maryland and Virginia in record time. This is how I decided I wanted to get an MBA in August, 2001 when I was living in Phoenix, and was sitting in a classroom in Baltimore come January, 2002. This is how I packed a truck and moved to Atlanta to live with my ex without really thinking it through. Sometimes it’s a win, sometimes it’s not – like when I stayed at the Vortex way too long when I should have taken my life and soul and exited that place long before it became the nightmare it did.

Back to the dress.

Since this conversation with X, I have been really bothered by my lack of responsibility. Even though the store convinced me that the dress would arrive on time, a little light googling on another topic and I found a bunch of reviews of the alterations department of said location, and they were all bad. Okay. So I won’t get it altered there. But then I found scores of reviews on sites I have never heard of, all saying that their dresses arrived 2-3 weeks late. Rut-ro.

July 10th plus 2 weeks is one day after the wedding. That will not work for me.

I spent no less than 15 hours online Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights seeking a backup plan. I went through The Knot in painstaking agony identifying other dress possibilities. I saved them as favorites, and cross referenced all the style numbers into the following sites:

ebay
Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses
Once Wed
Wore it Once
Recycled Bride
Bravo Bride
Wedding Dress Market

By the time I was done with that I was ready to stick my finger down my throat and vom. Do you know how many brides out there are selling size zero and 2 dresses? A whole hell of a lot. And I swear to you that I saw Oprah sized arms coming out of what someone called a size 6. Slap margarine on my butter, lady, if you are a size 6 (which in bridal, is a size 2) then I’m writing this from Bret Michael’s bedside. (Oh poor Bret, please get better!)

Finally I found nine very viable options, and started ruling out. I googled everything. I found message boards debating two of my chosen styles over each other, with 20 replies. I wondered who the hell finds time to debate wedding dresses with complete strangers online, but then, hello, uh, me, 15 hours online between Sunday and Tuesday, and uh, you people, most of whom I don’t know, reading about what a moron I am. Gotcha.

Narrowed it down to 2 options, and then to one option – a dress so wonderful I’m giddy thinking about it. It’s not a replacement. It’s number 2. I want to be clear about that. But still, a fantastic backup. Then I found a store that carried the brand. And guess who drove to Capitol Hill to find that store shut down? Yup. Then I checked my list and realized the next closest store was in some place my old Developer boss used to send me to for various work errands, and he would warn me to not get shot. Suitland maybe? District Heights?   And what I found out there at Lefty’s Bridal? Changed my life.

I bought a backup dress, sight unseen. It will be here in June. Lefty is this amazing lady, she has a fashion degree, does all the alterations herself, and she and her husband run the shop out of their home. They were in there helping their drop dead gorgeous daughter get fitted for her prom dress and grabbed a similar dress for me to try, eyeballed my size, did the measurements and I handed over my card. They also gave me a great price – less than what some of these broads are selling their cast-off size 2’s for online. Any of you getting married? Email me. We’re going to Lefty’s.

Let’s revisit the shoes for a second…

Still love them, but they are currently in a box on a UPS truck on their way back to Piperlime. You know how when you have a pair of heels for 20 years and they look all raggedy and out of shape? Yep. That’s what they sent me. No packing material, and they were scuffed AND WORN before. Ugh. Buh-bye. I’ll buy my shoes in person Bloomingdales, because it’s like no other store in the world.

Something About the Woman Makes My Heart Go Haywire, and She’s Gonna Be My Wife

Well, X and I have a new favorite show. That stupid “Say Yes to the Dress” show. I think in the absence of me making a huge deal of the dress shopping, coupled with the fact that I stumbled into a place and found the dress without giving it much thought or bringing anyone with me, I am obsessed with other people and their search for the dress. Maybe I feel like I missed out a bit on that experience though I am happy that it happened the way it did. I wish they would put that thing out on video already.

I found my shoes. Love. Love. Love.

 

We really rocked and rolled this weekend. Again, who needs a planner? My dad confirmed that he found a JP so that’s done. Then my dad sent the funniest email. He is so conditioned to eating dinner at 6:00, and we’re planning on starting the ceremony at 6:00, then doing a cocktail hour, so dinner won’t be until after 7. My dad says, “Can’t you start the wedding at 5 so we can sit down to eat at 6?” I’m crying now. I called him and said, “No, I cannot do that because first of all, I think the few random out of towners need as much of Friday as possible to get to town, and because traffic in Connecticut is horrendous on Fridays in the summer and because frankly, the later the better. I’m already going to be sweating my ass off in 50 pounds of dress.” X was like, “Can we get him a snack?” My dad is a comedian. Now might be a good time to tell X that my parents will probably be packing up any uneaten food and taking it home to live off of for weeks post-wedding.

X and I spent Friday drinking so we spent Saturday nursing my hangover until X demanded I get out of bed so we could get going on our list of crap to accomplish. He found THE BEST jeweler in Falls Church, and they had great reviews online. We went there to figure out the whole wedding band / ring issue. They buzzed us in and this girl met us right at the door and literally solved our issue with my ring and sold X a band for himself. Five minutes and $2000 later, we were out the door and heading back to my place. They are going to make a mold of the band so I can see what it will look like, then if I likey, they will make the notched ring. Done and done. Dominion Jewelers people. Dominion Jewelers in Falls Church. Amazing.

We had been looking at invitations online and they were all blah. Until I stumbled across Zazzle. You have to design the invitations yourself but once we figured that part out, it was easy. Well, aside from my bitching about it. We got the invitations, response cards, placecards and thank you cards all for $160. Are we good or are we good? I still maintain that I can make all these phone calls to the family and couple close friends within 10 minutes so why the eff do we need invitations, but look how cute they are!

 

Then I came up with the best idea for party favors. I actually saw it in a magazine, but it was too cute for words. Sweet tarts in the shape of dog bones as the favor, with a note that a donation was made to the ASPCA in the name of the person. We both really liked that idea, and since the dogs are going to be part of the wedding, this seemed like a great idea. A little hunting around online and here’s what I came up with:

This candy, inside the doggie bags, tied with ribbon!

 

 

Soooooo cute! Love it. Now, I have to come up with the outfits for Sammy and Thora.

Take My Hand, Take My Whole Life Too

The ring drama continues. I found this great notched ring that I even sent the link for to Tyler, thinking it could help him solve his issue too with their ring. Today the ring arrived. I knew X was coming through the garage at the same time Fed Ex was pulling up to the front but it didn’t stop me from ripping open the package. Wait, let’s do a quick review first.

My ring is a solitaire and very low set. I decided I needed something like this to fit snugly against my ring:

 

So that’s what we ordered. They even called X to ask the measurements of my diamond which he gave them and we were so excited to get the ring. Back to today. Fed Ex arrives, I ripped open the ring and I think my jaw dropped to the floor. I said to the dogs, “What the f is this?” Then X walked in.

The band you see above is mostly flattened out with a nice sizeable notch. Right? Right.

This is what arrived today:

 

Of course you can’t see what I really want you to see, but basically it’s a misshapen, sort of knife’s edge thing with a barely discernible notch in it. It wasn’t surprising to me that the picture could be so far removed from the product. What was surprising was that the guy actually called X and got the measurements and they “custom made” this ring for us. So, uh….we have to send it back. And we’re back to square one.

According to my dad, he’s still working on a Justice of the Peace and we’re still looking for invitations. Then I realized we have to make food choices so that we can put those on the reply card. This shit is hard. No wonder people hire Wedding Coordinators for them.

She’s Picked Out a King Sized Bed

I’d like to say that the swift pace at which X and I have been making wedding decisions has endured for each area of decision making. But when it came to the dress, progress came to a screeching halt. Let’s review my thought process as it unfolded in my brain:

Wearing dress for a couple hours. Frugal. Don’t like spending money on things. Decide to buy off rack. Hate frou frou stuff anyway. Loved Carolyn Bessette Kennedy’s dress since the day I saw it. Looked for a sheath. Wonder where hers is, she’s clearly not going to use it again. Oh. Going to hell. Looked at my stomach. Wondered about reality of a sheath and my stomach taking a meeting and realizing they don’t like each other very much. Must lose extra 10 lbs that arrived since January. Must get back to working out. Nachos. Tacos. Pizza. Okay. No sheath. Something else. What though. What.

The idea of a sheath has been in my head since the 90’s when JFK and CBK got married. Simple, classic, very, um, me. Shut up. I am old enough now to qualify for classic! But there are an additional 10 pounds on me since the mid 90’s. So the hunt began. First, I had this Carmen Marc Valvo dress shipped to me:

 

As I suspected, the sheath and my fat pockets had a big fight, the fat won and the sheath was boxed right back up and sent back to where it came from. For a split second, I entertained my “dream” wedding dress. It’s clearly this Halston:

 

But then I had to slap myself. This lady wants $2400 for it, she wants all cash (um, hello?) and I think that price is pretty ridiculous. It doesn’t mean that I won’t one day write her a check for it and buy it just to try it on but for now, it’s back-burnered.

Okay, other dream dress? This! EEEEE!

 

Yeah, I know. They aren’t easy to see. Believe me, witches, I had a hard time too. What the deuce is wrong with all these photogs putting pictures of white wedding dresses against white backgrounds? I was turning el lappytop in all sorts of contortions to try to get a visual on some of these dresses.

Anyway, Bottega Veneta dress above? $6000 and sold the eff out anyway. Onwards.

You may recall that J Crew was in the throes of filing bankruptcy when one Michelle Obama wore something of theirs to some stupid event and the entire brand was resuscitated. Well, J Crew has a wedding department and they have some awesome dresses. Here’s my favorite, and by far the one that rose the ranks quickly:

 

Love it love it love it. Fabric? Something I never heard of.   I swung by the store in Georgetown to check it out and was told, “Even the skinniest girls have to wear spanx.” Let me tell you what doesn’t sound fun. 1) Wearing a girdle. 2) Wearing a girdle in July in Connecticut on the swampy humidity of the freaking Long Island Sound. Effectively back burnered. Say Hi to Halston!

Next!

My lovers at BCBG never fail to disappoint. I hopped on to Nordstrom and bought a handful of dresses from them. Why didn’t I do it at BCBG? I’ll tell you why. They don’t have a return policy. Are you people joking me? You know we’re in a recession right? I’m not going to tape the tag inside my dress and do the wear/return, but still. NO RETURN POLICY? Within 10 days you get a store credit with a receipt, but you will NEVER EVER get your money back from Bon Chic Bon Genre. Bah. So Nordies. Here’s what went into my cart and on to my credit card:

 

 

 

I like them all, but I don’t love them. However, I resigned myself to the fact that this may be what I’m destined to have.

And during this whole process, I can’t stop thinking about this other dress I saw online but called every store as well as the maker, and cannot locate one anywhere:

 

So it’s been a mess. For something that was supposed to be so simple, and that was going to be a minor part of the budget, this whole shebang has been causing a lot of heartburn. Just like with the man, everyone said, “When you find it you’ll know.” Bah. What the f*ck ever. X and I danced around being in love for 4 years before we got together, all the while I was entertaining YOU people with a dating blog. Ugh!

After a day at Tysons (I and II) and then out to Fairfax to a bridal place to see a dress similar to the one just above, I was a mess. I called X, because I value his opinion so much and because his taste level is so on target. This is evidenced, in fact, by the ring that he got me all by his wittle self. And no I’m not posting a picture because here’s a cold hard truth: It’s f*cking tacky to ask people to see their ring, to ask for a picture of it or to make comments about it one way or the other. Is anyone listening? I hope everyone’s listening. Tacky.   And that’s why for anyone who has asked me for a picture, I haven’t sent one. So there’s your answer to that quandary.

Anyway, X pretty much said I had to do this on my own. (Don’t even ask me why my mom wasn’t with me. You all know the answer to that. Oh, you don’t? Because if I wanted someone telling me how fat I was and how I don’t even fit into the moo moo size dresses when I’m a god damned size 8, then I would have invited my mom.)

I waltzed into Macy’s Bridal on a whim, shook up what I wanted, and spit it back out. This lady pulled a dress about 4 times my dress budget. I put it on, and it literally took my breath away. She said, “This is it?”

Yes. This is it.

She’s Telling Me We’ll Be Wed

We have very little requirements in the way of locating a Justice of the Peace.

1) Must be non-denominational since X and I are basically atheists.
2) Must be open and willing to performing same-sex marriages. No, this is not when I unveil that X is really a female. But, I strongly believe that anyone should be able to marry anyone else and so I want to know that our JP won’t deny anyone else the right and privilege of being married because of who they want to marry.

Doing a ceremony in the town in which I grew up has some really funny townies sort of things that crop up. I found a list of town approved Justices of the Peace. I forwarded said list to my parents and said, “By chance, anyone on here an enemy?” See, in addition to living in this town for 40 years, my dad was also a lawyer for most of those years. And he found himself on the opposite side of the courtroom with, well, everyone. Oh the times bumping into people in town and hearing “I sued that bastard,” or having the doorbell ring and being forced to hide in the dark because my dad was going to be subpoenaed. Or his client was. Can you imagine how bad that would be if I randomly picked one of them to marry me to X? “Well well well, I’ve been waiting for 38 years Mr. Velvet’s Dad. You’ve been served!”

Anyway, after I sent this email to Gloom and Doom, I continued perusing the list. Several names jumped out at me but I couldn’t place who they were or how I knew them. This of course means that I could never pick any of these people because, Pete DiLeo, I don’t know if I dated you, or my slutty friend did, but I can’t risk you showing up to marry me to X and busting out with some story about a broken heart, a broken marriage and a broken car window.

Then I see it. There it is. Even the phone number is vaguely familiar from when I called it.   So I texted K.

“OMG OMG OMG, only you can appreciate this. I’m looking for a JP in CT and Teresa’s dad is on here! Remember when I had that fight with him?”

K texts back, “Yeah, to tell him to get his psycho daughter off your back and to leave you and your boyfriend alone!”

Then I drew a blank. I remember the call. I remember it was to tell the girl off and her dad picked up. But a boyfriend? Huh? I texted back and said, “I cringe to ask, but which boyfriend was this?” K had to enlighten me. I forgot most of those details. You know, when you move away from your hometown, and then move several times in a decade, you lose entire blocks of time filled memories. They somehow fade away each time you pack and unpack a box. Or maybe it’s from the drinking. Hmm.

Anyway. There was no response from Gloom and Doom. When I asked my mom in an email, she said, “Your father is working on it.” Oh no. OH NO! The town only allots a certain number of JP’s and if anyone can manage to piss all of them off between now and summer, it’s my dad! Shit!!!

My mom emailed back to not worry, so I said to X, “Well, the more involved they are, the less of a chance they will come up with some stupid reason not to show up like, ‘We went to the movies, and your father got his hand stuck in the butter dispenser.'”

X: Yeah, but the Justice of the Peace baby? I mean, can’t they work on the flowers or something?
Me, not really listening to X: Oh! Wait, I know, maybe my dad knows someone else in another town in CT that he wants to ask.
X: I hope you know what you’re doing.

Then, 3 full minutes of silence.

Me: It just occurred to me where your thinking is. I’m thinking they are just going to hire some flake they are friends with, you’re thinking they are going to hire someone who doesn’t show up. Or that they are not going to hire anyone at all….
X: Yeah, there she is everyone. She finally got here.

On yet another call to my mom, she said they were indeed working on it. I said to make sure whoever they pick will actually show up. I didn’t even bother making my second request on the whole gay marriage thing. That would really be pushing my luck.

Gloom: Oh don’t worry. Your father knows most of those people. He just wants to ask his friend which would be the right one.
Me: Okay.
Gloom: Do you think we have to feed this person?
Me: I think we have to feed the photographer.
Doom, from the background before I could even answer: NO WE’RE NOT FEEDING THEM! THEY CAN EAT AT HOME.

If This is Just the Beginning, My Life’s Gonna Be Beautiful

The fifth and final place we went to check out was up in good old Connecticut, the land of hedge funds and million dollar houses. After we left my parents non-million-dollar house, we stopped by the restaurant/hotel on the way out of town. This hotel was known by another name when I was in high school, and I always thought of it as a shithole. My mom said they renovated it, changed the name and it was supposedly gorgeous. It is also on the water.

 

X and I went in and I was instantly thrown back in time into all things Connecticut. Blonde hair, headbands, Range Rovers and Jaguars. When you leave Connecticut and spend   many years traipsing around with rednecks in the south and then with gays in D.C., you forget that there are places like Connecticut on earth. Not a blade of grass in town is anything other than bright green, not a hair on any head is gray and unprocessed, not a forehead in sight unbotoxed. So at the restaurant,   they bust out the book and showed us the “other weddings” that occurred here. I was scanning the pics to see if I went to high school with any of the people, so I missed half the stuff she said. But several magic words did register in my subconscious:

All Inclusive 5 hour package
Top Shelf Open Bar Included
$125 a person

No venue rental fee
Ceremony outside on the deck, under the trellis which will be covered with flowers by summer, saving us any money spent on flowers.
Oh, and the deck is on the water.
Available dates this summer!   (The beauty of planning a wedding during a recession is that you can pretty much get any date you ask for.)
Eeeee!!!!

 

We walked around the room where the reception would be, and I tried to hide my happiness but I wanted to   make out with every Tory Burch clone in sight. When we left, X said, “Well, they were nice.” Then I must have temporarily blacked out, but apparently X tells me that I started blubbering my case for wedding/near parents house/don’t have to buy flowers/on the water/ and topped that off with the heartwrenching “this is the town I grew up in and it would be really cool to get married here” and X was sold.

Apparently 4 hours in Connecticut was too long. You can take the girl out of Connecticut, but you can’t take the Connecticut out of the girl. I freaking subscribed to Town and Country Magazine when I got home. God. Damned. It.

 

My Head Keeps Spinning, I Go to Sleep and Keep Grinning

We’ve had some serious progress over here in Velvet World the last few days.

Regarding the piece of shit doctor, we filed complaints with the Virginia Medical Board and HHS for HIPAA violations. I cannot wait until he gets those notices.

X and I had a busy 38 hours between Friday at 7 a.m. and Saturday at 9 p.m. We left DC and drove to NYC where we had meetings with Wedding Coordinators at 2:00, 3:00, 4:30 and 6:15. Up. Down. Across the city. All on foot. With Sammy and Thora. It was a feat, to say the least. Our base of operations, the W, where we were staying, was also conveniently our first stop.

2:00. W Hotel, Midtown. This happy little coordinator showed us around their conference rooms which were very…”conferency.” He told us we wouldn’t like our next stops on the tour from hell because they were “stuffy” and “basementy” respectively, but the W is sort of an odd hotel too. It seems more suited to business meetings anyway.

That is NOT X with the white gloves by the way.

3:00. Waldorf-Astoria.   Apparently unless you have throngs of people, they won’t even discuss sharing their precious banquet space with you. You have to rent a suite. I was like, “wha???” But then I saw their suites. Holy crap. They are indeed gorgeous, but for $6000 a night, I would expect them to be gorgeous.

I wouldn’t expect them to also be so, gaudy, but well, whatever.

The funny part of that flea market furniture is that if you want it removed, you have to pay them. Please. You people should pay us for removing the ribbon candy couches and injecting a taste level into the place.

The idea of doing a ceremony in one room and eating in the other was pretty nice. It sort of summed up what we were thinking about for the day. Then we got the dogs and hoofed it up to Central Park South for our next appointment.

4:30. Ritz-Carlton. These people were the nicest to deal with pre-visit, and they even had bones for Sammy and Thora when we got there. I thought that was pretty nice. Then Sammy wouldn’t cooperate and he was attacking me for the bone I had in the little Ritz bag. I was trying to say how well behaved my dogs were and then one turns into Jabba the Hut and practically jumped into my arms to get the bone. So, the unfortunate part about the Ritz? Space in the basement. X said, “This doesn’t really do the ‘had my wedding at the Ritz on Central Park’ statement justice because the pictures will look like we were just about anywhere.” No windows, nada. Sad.

 

There’s Thora dreaming about her wedding.

6:15. Studio 54. People please. Is this not the bestest idea ever? I’m a disco freak, love all things late 70’s and loved hearing about Studio 54 then, and now. I’ve read the books, seen the movies, I’m officially obsessed. We used this as an excuse to tour the place, but knowing that it’s been converted into a theatre, we sort of knew we wouldn’t be able to make it work. When we found out that the price of renting the cool Studio 54 runs you $10,000 just to get in the door, we were about done. Though, we continued our mission. We saw the infamous mezzanine where the sex occurred, and the scandalous basement where the drug use took place. God I would have been in heaven. No wonder people were dying to get in and never wanted to leave.

Now:

 

Then:

Sniffles. Love Halston. Wondering if I should buy this vintage Halston Wedding Dress I spied online. Bah. Dresses are another post.

After, we went to have dinner with my brother and his ex-girlfriend bff. Then back to the hotel where we all promptly crashed. Some of us crashed faster than others.

“Yum. These Ritz Carlton Bones are the best.”

In the morning we went up to Connecticut. Yeah yeah, I know. But we had to pin them down once and for all. And we looked at a hotel in my hometown that also does weddings.

Guess what happened when we arrived at my parents house?

a) No one was home.
b) They barely spoke to us.
c) They talked to me but refused to engage with X.
d) They jumped out of the house and started talking to X and I like they hadn’t ignored emails or dodged phone calls and showed an interest in our wedding.

If you picked a, b, or c, you’re wrong. Can you believe it? Neither can I.

When I Wanted You To Share My Life, I Had No Doubt In My Mind

Damn it. It was my Resolution to post more this year. Obviously I’m the suckage at that.

It’s been another two months of crazy. I’m trying to get a business off the ground, my dad was sick, my uncle died, I had to get rid of Speedracer and bought another, still unnamed vehicle that the fucking dealership cannot provide the title for – so I sit in limbo-non-registered land, X and I have been to California and back, as well as hell and back, I got strep throat, three colds and am on my second round of antibiotics, well, third if you count that monster antibiotic shot they gave me in the ass, and finally, X and I got engaged. Four times.

Yes. You read that right. Four times. We had a bit of difficulty pulling it off correctly.

The first time, X sort of hands me the ring but doesn’t say a whole lot. As I said to him, “I don’t need a skywriter, but you know, you have to ask the question.” He said he would do it over.

I waited patiently for several weeks, then months, and finally I started asking. “When am I getting the ring back? X? When am I getting the ring back? Do you still have it? Did you return it? No? Oh. Well when am I getting the ring back?” He finally said, “I planned on giving it to you last week when we were walking along the beach with the dogs.”

Me: Oh? Well, it was deserted out there. That would have been the perfect time. You know I love the beach. What stopped you?
X: Well, I was about to. Remember when I was pulling the shells out of my pocket?
Me: Yeah?
X: Well I was about to pull out the ring but then, “HELLO?” (at this point X imitated me on the phone, using the universally known   “hand-as-telephone symbol” to indicate that yours truly had taken a call.)
Me: So I was only on the phone a couple minutes, couldn’t you have tried again?
X: Well, yes, except that do you remember when Thora took a dump and you picked it up and carried the poop bag with you because there was no garbage can?
Me: Yes?
X: And I kept telling you to get rid of the poop? Well that was because I wanted to give you the ring. But I wasn’t about to propose with you holding a bag of dog shit in your other hand.
Me: Okay. Well. I want it back.

I sort of thought X would wait until we were out at the beach again since that’s pretty much our sanctuary. But we went to dinner last week at our favorite restaurant and suddenly I was like a freaking bloodhound. I said, “Do you have the ring in your pocket?” He said no. I started to claw at his pockets and he told me that he didn’t have it with him. Then he said I looked sad. I said I wasn’t so much sad as I was upset that I was wrong about this. I just had the feeling that he had the ring. He said, “Let me show you what I have in my pockets.”

Out came the the ring. And the question.

I wish I could say that we were graceful about it, but truth be told, it wouldn’t be X and I if it wasn’t fumbled, awkward and had a “do over” called a few times.

X was talking to his “birth brother” (the one we haven’t met yet) as I guess you would call him, on the phone during the throes of Engagement-Gate-2010.   X told him after the first engagement that went awry that he had to propose again and X’s brother said, “Oh? You too?” Apparently he too screwed up his proposal to his girlfriend.

Damn, it’s like, in his blood or something.

And ladies and gentlemen? This is officially no longer a dating blog! Yay!

Then the Busy Years Went Rushing By Us

It’s been a very busy few months. Life’s getting away from me. I think. Maybe it’s not. I suppose I’m in full control, just busy. Let’s see…

We found X’s birth dad. Dead. Very sad. Very upsetting. Though, when we finally got a name from his birth mom, and googled the name, we found an obituary for him with a picture. It was like looking into a mirror 25 years from now. X contacted his half-brother, and they’ve been in contact pretty regularly and we have it on the list to meet up with him. He said he didn’t really believe X until he saw a picture on X’s company website, and he had to sit down he was so stunned. X had a half-sister who has died, but her daughter said the same thing, looking at a picture of X so reminded her of her mother that she cried.

I’ve been fully entrenched in my “new-ish” career. I decided to stop working for the man, and got my real estate license. It’s very exciting to wake up every day and go to work for yourself. I’m quite pleased with my progress. X said I really packed a lot of shit into the last 2 months of the year. Took the class, took the test, got the license, signed an Independent Contractor Agreement and I’m cooking with gas.

This of course, will destroy my internet anonymity, as my picture will be slapped all over the web. I’m not exactly happy about this, but, as I look back on all my years of “Velvet,” I think, “Well, I told the truth.” The blog is more of a testament to a period of time spent in D.C. than any reflection on me personally. At least, I like to think so. Okay, maybe sometimes I was an asshole. But I was a funny asshole!

I finally woke up one morning with the idea of what I could actually pen into a book. It will probably never happen, but I did get an outline on paper. Truth be told, I think the idea I have would be mostly unique, but I’m not sure it will ever see the light of day as a manuscript because I don’t have the time to dedicate, unfortunately.

I have had a long long long personal “to do” list, not the least of which was to finalize all my immunizations. For reasons I will never fucking understand, most of the doctors I called don’t have the vaccines I needed – Chicken Pox? Really? Anyway…I had to fold and go to the D.C. Department of Health.

Let me tell you that today was the 4th time I had been there and it was a nightmare each and every time. If I could have gotten these shots anywhere else, I would have. But I was sort of stuck. I got there so early that I was 3rd in line, thankfully. And just as they were giving me my shot and updated records, the receptionist came into the waiting lounge and said someone had taken a shit out in the hall and she needed “maintenance” and “some air freshener.” I looked at the kid next to me and said, “Good luck. Hold your breath. I’m running through there now!”

Have you ever walked into a room where an adult just took a shit on the floor? No? Do you wonder what people’s reaction would be? Let me tell you –   they all pretty much looked like someone just took a shit on the floor next to them. Because the D.C. Department of Health is so jam-packed, there wasn’t much room to spread out.

For work, I need a new car. The two seater Speedracer won’t cut it. I sort of have that Patty Hearst syndrome with my car. It’s had so many fuck ups that I sort of feel attached to it. But I get it, a two seater doesn’t lend itself well to a life with two dogs, kids and a man who hates the car, as well as shuttling clients around.

So tonight we went to check out this BMW I spied online. And after I finished the test drive, I was backing it up into the spot from which it came, when I smashed into another BMW.

Fucking. Oops.

Nothing changes around here. Typical God Damned Velvet.

What I Seem To Want…Well You Know I’ll Find a Way

I’m not sure which planets have aligned to allow the following to happen, but it is still a shocker.

You may recall our near miss in Delaware, where we almost latched on to some drunk in a Karaoke bar, sure she was X’s birth mother. Well, one of us was sure. X has found her. The contact he attempted through the agency finally reached his birth mother.

Guesssss where we’re going for Thanksgiving????????????? EEEEEE!!! Soooo exciting!

Have a happy Turkey Day everyone. I’ll be manning the video camera, trying not to cry, and making sure no one sneaks any bacon in my mouth as I’ll likely be the only vegetarian at Thanksgiving dinner in the country this Thursday.

In other news, I’m pushing my little “I’ll never work for anyone but myself again” plan into action. X mentioned something this weekend about how I need to come up with my company name so he can get my paperwork ready to file as a Small Business or something.

X: What are you thinking?
V: Something with Sammy and Thora’s name in it.
X: Are you serious?
V: Why? Would that be bad?
X: Uh. Yeah. You want people to take you serious.
V: But I love Sammy and Thora.
X: Jesus Christ. What am I getting myself into?

I Know What I’m Needing And I Don’t Want To Waste More Time

I really thought that with being laid off I would have a lot more time on my hands to do the things I love – sleep, write, run, see X. Unfortunately, none of those dreams have come to fruition.

My knee is all jacked up so there’s no running in my near future. Crap. And I’ve been somehow so busy that there’s barely any time for the other stuff. Though I am paving my way for my future. At least I think I am. I thought at first that I just wanted to be happy and to make enough money to get by. Then I smartened up and realized that would be stupid. I have achieved a lot, and still have a way to go, and it would have been stupid for me to stay at the Vortex or another place just like it just to crank out a paycheck. I am capable of so much more.

I sent my resume out to four recruiters the first few days after being laid off and three of them called me in for interviews. I know. Yay! Here’s how that went.

Recruiter #1: Asked me “So, how did you like the corporate culture at the Vortex?” Not, “What did you like about your last job” or “What are you looking for in a new job,” but a question about the “Corporate Culture?” Interesting. My first reaction was to bust out laughing. My second reaction was to put my finger up as if to say “hold on,” and then laugh some more. I asked her why she was asking because let’s face it, no one asks you about a fucking corporate culture unless they know that it’s a dysfunctional corporate culture. She then launched into a dissertation about how they as recruiters have sent 15 people to interview there over the last year and how all the candidates came back going, “What the fuck kind of place is that???” The one person who actually took the job ended up leaving within a few weeks. I said, “Oh yea! I heard about her!”

Recruiters Number 2 AND 3: Asked me to come work for them. As a recruiter. Both of them shockingly had the same reasoning for this offer of employment. They said my background was unique but ran the gamut of the real estate industry and as such I would be able to effectively find both clients and candidates and match them up, resulting in commissions extraordinaire. I cannot say that I didn’t internally swoon at their praises and that it didn’t validate the last 15 years of my calculated career choices because it did.

While these offers were flattering, and one I thought of entertaining seriously, I just don’t know. I’m old enough now to know what I’m good at, and what my limitations are. I’m not sure if switching into a different field makes a lot of sense for me. Or anyone at my point in life and career. I’m not sure if having a job whose sole purpose is to find other people jobs would make me happy. I like building things.   Sigh.

I had to convey this in logical terms to my parents, who felt that (yet again) I should abandon my dreams in lieu of the guaranteed paycheck. They used that disapproving, “Well, you should consider all your options.” I said, “I have considered them, and I have learned one very important thing. Except for X, all the people I have worked for have been stupider than I am. This means, I’m missing the mark. If I’m smarter than most of the people who have signed my paycheck in the last 15 years, then I have a huge opportunity. I just need to make it happen.

So I’m off pedaling my tricycle on a related path in real estate, hoping it pays off. I believe I’m off to a great start. And part of my plan involves one day working with X again. We’ll see.

Oh. In case anyone was wondering exactly how stupid the Vortex really is, let me tell you what they did to me with my severance.

They were “so proud” to be able to offer me this severance package that was “way beyond” what anyone has ever received, and was apparently supposed to be something my boss had to fight for. Admirable, right? Sarcasm sarcasm.

So when they wrote out my contract, I realized they made a mistake in my favor. I signed it, sent it back and asked them to sign it and send it back to me. I figured they would catch the mistake. They didn’t. They cut the check for the same amount in the contract.

They somehow managed to give me twice as much as they told me they were giving me. Dumbasses. I literally laughed ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK!

Happy Birthday Thora!

Well, I really did it this time. I made that bacon cake and had a little party for Thora with a couple of her little neighborhood doggie friends.   I haven’t managed to keep a goldfish, hamster or chinchilla alive anywhere near their expected lifespan. So this? Thora’s 10th Birthday? This is a big deal.

Last year I bought her a cake from one of those fancy dog places. Twenty bucks down the garbage chute. She hated it. I couldn’t even carve into it. I think they tried to pass off a week-old cake on me. It was gross. Even Sammy wouldn’t eat it, and that is rare. Sammy has never met a morsel of food that he didn’t like.

This year I wanted to make her a cake. I googled and found recipes, but this one sounded the best:

Bacon Chicken Layer Cake

3 cups flour
1 T Baking Powder
1/2 cup Margarine
6 eggs
1/2 cup corn oil
2 jars strained chicken baby food
2 cups shredded carrots (I didn’t use these)
plain or vanilla yogurt (I used cream cheese)
2-3 strips Bacon fried crisp (I used the whole package, 14 strips)

Mix everything together except the yogurt/cream cheese and bacon, beat for 2 minutes, put in two 8 inch rounds and bake at 325 for 60 minutes.

When the cake cools, frost it with the yogurt or cream cheese, and layer bacon in between the tiers. Yum yum.

 

The dogs, by the way, will look like this during this step:

 

Then you put the top part on to the bacon and cream cheesed part and frost the rest. Then you can have some fun with it.

 

I used Puperoni sticks for candles. But obviously I didn’t light them.

When we unveiled the cake, X said I should just put it in front of her. So I did. She went for the Puperoni stick first.   Then she went after the “T” in Thora. Ted helped.

 

The other dogs, my Sammy and Ester’s Dudley, were both rapt with their marrow bones, and didn’t realize “cake-gate 2009” was happening just a few steps from them.

 

So we cut some pieces off for Sammy and Dudley and let them share in the cake goodness. X’s human kids, Number 1 and Number 2 thought they were going to get to try the Bacon Cake. But they renegged when they heard “baby food” as an ingredient.

After her plate of meat and her bacon cake, and her new presents, Thora was sufficiently pooped. Too tired to move. Poor baby.

 

Happy Birthday my little Princess!

 

In other dog news: Homeward Bound is doing another adoption at PetSmart this week in Potomac Yard. Today from 3-6, Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 10-5. Come rescue a dog instead of going to a breeder! Mutts and strays need love too!

Details here!

You Were Quicker Than They Thought

This entire week has been a bit of a clusterfuck. I think I’ve spent more time on the phone with people discussing work than I’ve actually been at work. X really thinks I work at the inspiration for “The Office.”

It took a year and a half but I am fed up. And I’m on the other side now – which is fine, because the “other side” is like an old pair of college sweatpants. I remember it, yet, it’s been so long! I can only get here with the exact prescription of equal parts of busting my ass and getting screwed over. Let’s see, when was the last time this happened? Shady land developer in Maryland? Check. Drunken boss at Archstone Smith? Check. Psychotic drug addicts at Calvin Klein Buying Offices? Check check check.

Let’s see…what happened to all those people at those jobs?

Land Developer: Currently filing bankruptcy on roughly a dozen projects to avoid having to cough up judgments against him that total probably $25 million dollars. Now see that the courts are garnishing his bank accounts. I. Feel. So. Sorry. For. You. Cough.

Archstone Smith Boss: Not sure of her whereabouts. Damn google, don’t fail me now. Though I believe the second “A” in “AA” stands for Anonymous. So maybe she sobered up and I just can’t find it online.

Calvin Klein: Division I worked with eventually folded and ceased doing business. The only sweet non-jaded person there became a namesake of the very successful high end Lambertson Truex brand. Well done. Calvin Klein, on the other hand, over licensed his name so much that I think it holds as much value as this booger I just picked out of my nose.

Can someone pass me a tissue?

Anyway, people always get what is coming to them. Or they live miserable lives because they are just so despicable. Let me give a bit of history on the current spectacle going on at work:

My very dear friend at work, Lily, with whom I have bonded over many things – not the least of which is her marrying into a nutjob Greek family (uh, hello, this script was written for me) is going through a crisis of mega-proportions. Let’s see. How shall I put this? A show of hands, please. How many of you would like to be 8 & 1/2 months pregnant and married to the love of your life?

My friend has been out of the office on and off since the summer. When she finally came back after a long absence she told me the heart wrenching truth about what was going on. Now, how about if I asked you the same question as above with one postscript – How many of you would like to be 8 and 1/2 months pregnant and married to the love of your life who has been told he only has 3 months to live? I see the hands all went down.

I told X. He and I were back and forth on the phone all day saying, “What the fuck are we doing? What are we waiting for?” He would call back and say, “I can’t stop thinking about Lily.” To say that something in someone else’s life changed ours is an understatement. We put our plans together and have specific timelines for how they must unfold. But that is a story for another day.

Back to my friend. When she came back to work after the absence and finally told me the whole saga, we obviously bonded a lot more.   When Lily would come into the office I would go over to check up on her. On one particular day I was over in her office for 45 minutes. This apparently pissed several people off, including her boss, Bipolar Betty. It happened a month ago, yet, it has put into motion a whole series of events, each one stupider than the last, that it is really hard to believe that this sort of bullshit even goes on in the lives of adults.

The funniest part of all of this is that our company has the nerve to persecute Lily and I for one 45 minute conversation on a day when neither of us took a lunch anyway, and yet, people see fit to take 5 cigarette breaks a day at 10 minutes a shot, also take a lunch, leave early, and stand around most of the day talking. Yet, for us, this stupid shit of this one day that happened over a month ago, keeps coming up. The other day I was in her office for 10, maybe 12 minutes tops, and there were allegedly multiple “complaints” that people couldn’t find me for over an hour and that we were in there talking about nothing for an hour. The funniest part is that we were talking about work related things. So now Lily and I have come out swinging, fighting about all the bullshit and comments people are making.   There are so many convoluted lies in all of this that it’s just become reminiscent of middle school drama.

So today, during our monthly birthday celebration, with the whole company stuffed into the conference room, I waited for Lily to walk in and I said, “Oh, it’s YOU. DON’T TALK TO ME. I wouldn’t want anyone to say that because we talked for 1 minute that we were in the conference room making out for an hour and a half.” She got her piece of cake and when she made chatter with someone next to her I said, “That’s just about enough. You have been in here for hours. Get back to your desk. I’m going back to mine because it’s been too long now in the same room with you.”

She sent me an email telling me she loved me. I called her (because I don’t trust our email much like I don’t trust anything else or anyone else there) and said, “It’s like the jerk store now. I keep thinking of more things I’m going to say.'” She said, “Everyone heard you.” I said I didn’t think they did but she said she’s sure both my boss and hers heard.

Good. GOOD. I’m so happy about that. They have no idea what happens to people who fuck with me without provocation.

I hope that no one needs those two drawers of files I threw out yesterday or the year’s plus worth of emails I deleted today. Someone said to me this afternoon: “Your office is looking suspiciously clean.” Oh? Is it? Gee. I wonder what goodies the trash can will get tomorrow! I’m giddy with anticipation!

Do you know what the worst part of this whole thing really is? It’s not the pettiness or the 45 minutes of lost work time or the backstabbing tattletails. It’s the fact that Lily’s going through a major situation that no one else at work is going through, and probably will never go through, and they can’t seem to dig deep into their hearts and find some fucking compassion and understanding. That has to be the most unforgivable part of this.

The Trick You Said, Was Never Play the Game Too Long

Every time something noteworthy happens to me, I swear I’m going to sit down and put it into words. My life with X is so good. It is just so good. We have everything in place, all our plans lined up like neat little ducks, hovering delicately at that place of dropping the first domino. But then. But, then.

Work comes up behind me and swallows me like a drunken sailor on shore leave, rips me several new assholes, reminds me why it’s better that people don’t carry concealed weapons and laughs in my face that drugs are still, sadly, illegal. Because if I ever needed them at a time in my life, I’d say it’s right about…….now. It’s just not good. It’s sucking the life out of me. Eight hours seems like twelve. And yet, much like they seem to like to remind us, the economy is bad and where the hell is anyone getting a job these days? Yeah. I know, I know.

The problem with all this is the ducks – those plans X and I have. And those plans really don’t lend themselves to a job change at this point. I thought I could hang in for another year. But now looking down the barrel of 12 months and hoping to make it to the other end feels about as promising as Three’s Company coming back to Prime Time. I don’t know how I’m going to make it.

I   have had conversations with X. I have had conversations with friends, both inside work and out. I have had a conversation with myself. I’m not sure how much longer I can take it. It sucks the life out of me, it sucks the writing out of me.   I had a great story about X and I from the weekend and ugh. I can’t get there right now.

There comes a point in your life where putting up with unbelievable amounts of shit all week while counting the days to Friday or a day off seems stupid. The fact that I got Jury Duty and actually jumped up and down at the mailbox at the thought of possibly getting picked for a trial and not having to go to work is sad. You get old and you realize life is too short and that you have worked for too long to deal with other people’s disorganization and incompetence affecting you. You realize you could start businesses (or join businesses) with really good friends and that that just may be a better way to pass time and make money than working for the man.

I wish I could say that I have excuses.

“Oh, but I need to save more money.” (I don’t.)

“Oh, but there’s going to be a Christmas bonus.” (I doubt there will be.)

“Oh, but it’s so scary to not have a regular paycheck.” (It is. But the hostile work environment is scarier.)

I just need to take a leap. I need to not look back to make sure someone is still holding the back of the bike. It’s time. Now, to psych myself into it, set a timeline and put the plan in motion.

Do the Chairs in Your Parlor Seem Empty and Bare?

X and I took Number 1 and Number 2 out to the beach this weekend. Never ones to let teenage kids get in the way of our planned activities, X and I really redefined good-parenting when we took the kids to a bar. “Zzzlong as the youngins keep four feet from the bar, I reckon it’s fine.” At least, that’s the rule in Delaware.

After we ordered dinner, some decrepit lady, whose back looked like a U-Ring, stumbled over to tell X that he looked like her son. X and I both looked at each other with a stunned look of surprise because, you see, X was adopted. He has attempted, thus far unsuccessfully, to find his birth mother. It only took this woman a second to spit this out before she turned around and went back to her table. We both sat there with our mouths open.

Me: Oh my god it’s your birth mother!
X: Stop that.
Me: Come on! It could be her!
Number 2: Wasn’t she like 16 when she had Dad?
X: Yeah, and I was her second child!
Number 2: So, could that lady be, um….

At this point Number 2 trailed off to do the math to add X’s age and 16.   He never did get back to us with the answer. Stupid private school.

I just couldn’t let this go. I looked over at the lady and suddenly it was like looking in a mirror. X has very distinct eyebrows. Even in his baby pictures, he has the same eyebrows that he has now. It’s actually pretty funny how that arch just stayed in place all these….Number 2? Are you done with that math yet? How many years?

Anyway. Back to the Birth Mother.

She kept looking at X, and I said, “Do you think it’s possible this lady is your mom?” X said, “Yeah. I do.”

I looked back at her. I just got this feeling and I practically demanded that X go over and talk to her. We ate and he agreed to go over and try to get some more clues. He was over there for a while. I probably should have mentioned earlier that there was Karaoke in full swing by this point. By “full swing,” I mean there were three people on the rotation, including the D.J.

Some tall drink of water country bumpkin with ducks ass feathered gray hair decided to take his opportunity behind the mic to sing Elvis’s “Are You Lonesome Tonight?”   Right about the time X was getting into it with the U-Ring Birth Mother, there’s the Kenny Rogers, pointing in her face, screaming, “Are You Lonesome Tonight???” Ugh. Stupid Delaware. Stupid fucking useless Delaware. Don’t even get me started on the conversation I had with Boss Hogg on my property tax bill.

I wish that I could have pulled that moron aside and said, “Do you mind? He just found his birth mother, here in this shit hole bar, that we’ve taken his teenage sons to, in this shit hole neighborhood where I’ve bought a house and now feel like I’m in Harper Valley/Mayberry Hell in Hazard County. Back off, Stretch.”

As it turns out, X couldn’t get enough information from her to get anything other than the fact that her father was from North Jersey – which doesn’t match up to what we know about where his mother was from. However, based on her age, and the age of her son, I firmly believe that she could be X’s aunt – whether it’s her brother who is X’s father, or her sister who is his mother is obviously unclear, but this I’m sure of. Because I do believe in fate and I don’t believe in chance encounters.

You’ve Done Your Sowing, Now You Can Do Your Reaping, Maybe You Should Have Thought About That When You Were Cheatin’

Some poor schmuck was standing on an intersection at Tyson’s today, holding this sign:

 

“I Cheated. This is my Punishment.”

Well played to the girlfriend. Very well played.

Only when you know the pain caused by cheating will you cease to ever do it again. I broke a heart when I cheated, and so I never did it again. Even when I should have.

 

Keep Your Hands to Yourself

While I may not have newspaper clippings to show you, I did have a strange weekend. Though I would like to do it all over again and this time do less something and more nothing.

I kicked off the weekend by stopping by my favorite waxer. Cube has the best ticket in town on this by the way so you’ll have to suck up to her if you want to know who it is. Since I finally bagged on going to the lunatic Thai lady, I’ve had relatively uneventful waxing experiences. Not Friday though.

Shameless me, I’m taking off my underwear, and Sandra (the waxer) says: So, I’m being investigated.
Me:
What? Why?
Sandra:
Someone reported me. A detective came to see me.
Me:
Why? Someone got home and realized their pubic hair was missing?
Sandra, laughing:
You are so bad!
Me:
You really shouldn’t open with this line, by the way. But, this I gotta hear. What did you get reported for?
Sandra:
Inappropriate touching.
Me:
Well, I’ll turn my head and you can touch me as inappropriately as you want. I think my boyfriend will want to come next time to watch though.
Sandra:
You are making me laugh! Stop!
Me:
So what did you tell the detective.
Sandra: Well, I had to explain the process and you know how after you rip the strip off you push on the skin like this? (She then demonstrates on my pubic bone.)
Me: Oh yes Sandra!!!! Do it again!!!!

Sandra is in full hysterics now. The long story short on this is that some idiot buffoon reported her for this “inappropriate touching.” As someone who has been demanding Brazilians since 1998 when they didn’t even do them in regular salons, I have to say this: people, if you are the least bit embarrassed by having your privates touched, you should probably play volleyball instead of opting for a Brazilian.

I left, grabbed the loves of my life Sammy and Thora, and drove out to meet X at the beach. Because he got there a day before I did, he was able to scout out a new bar, with a new megatouch, very close to the house. This is very exciting. Six Bud Lights (for me) and four Rum and Cokes (for him) and our bill totaled $31.50. Are. You. Kidding. Me.   I ripped off my hoop skirt and screamed, “As God as my Witness, I will never drink in Washington D.C. again!!!!”

I’m actually not kidding about the skirt part…it seems that through an altercation with a faulty tampon, I ruined my Lucky Jeans skirt!!! I ripped off the skirt and came home in my underwear, which, not surprisingly, was in worse condition. X said, “Oh boy, we’re going to be on the message boards tomorrow…I can see it now…’girl walking around community in underwear.'”

Sometimes the old Velvet just comes out and rears her head and cannot be stopped.

Saturday I spent what was supposed to be three hours at a salon getting that Brazilian Keratin thing that’s all the rage. Seven hours and $500 later, I have straight hair. However, I’m not satisfied with the place where I got it done, mostly because they doubled the price from their original “estimate” and because it took so long. But I’m also not pleased because the lady who owns the place is one of those annoying people I’ve fortunately had to encounter so rarely in my life.

She hits you when she’s talking to you. I don’t even have friends who do this to me, but for a stranger to tell you a story and to keep smacking your forearm, it’s annoying. It’s really annoying. So I wanted to take that $100 an ounce Brazilian product and shove it in her face because I was so annoyed. X said quite aptly, “I can only imagine you sitting there for 7 hours wondering if they knew what they were doing, and hating this lady. I’m sure you’ll never go back there again.”

I think he’s right. She actually offered to do a touch-up for free because of “price-gate 2009” but I don’t even know if that’s worth it. I should have sucked it up and gone to the mega expensive palace in Georgetown that does it. Well. You get what you pay for. Now. To get rid of these bruises on my forearms…

I Read the News Today Oh Boy Part 3

X and I are running through the last weekends of our summer by going to the beach as much as possible. I do love that newspaper so much. When I wake up around 9:30, and X is returning home with bagels and the Cape Gazette, I’m giddy with excitement. Because I know, inside that cover, there will be many many things to laugh about.

There’s a new publishing firm out at the beach! Maybe I can get my life saga published by them. There are no words for this one…

There was also a sandcastle contest. Um…hopefully this isn’t your mom or your girlfriend.

And finally, a recipe for you to enjoy. Pay attention. I’d hate for you to pick up one fruit thinking it was another.

 

Fruit Recognition FAIL.

Love, Look What You’ve Done to Me

Dear Lauren:

He and I walked down T Street toward each other, and both turned the same way heading north toward U Street. He was holding a bottle of wine and had a very heavy looking backpack strapped on him. I was right behind him until he veered off toward his apartment. He was obviously in a hurry.

When he pulled his keys out of a side pocket of his backpack and jumped up the stairs to his building in one swift move, he didn’t see the piece of paper that fell out on to the ground. It fluttered back and forth like a leaf until it landed right in front of me on the brick sidewalk.

It said: Lauren. (202) XXX-XXXX.

I yelled up to him, “Hey, you dropped something. Do you need this paper?” He looked confused for a split second, until his face formed a look of relief I haven’t seen since 1999, when my then-boyfriend only saw one pink line show up in the window.

He said, “Thank you. Oh my God, thank you so much.”

I said, “No problem. I saw it had a phone number on it. Figured you might need it.”

He thanked me again.

I rounded the corner on to U Street and just before I was out of sight, I heard him yell one more time, “Thank you so much.”

He’s welcome. And he better call you.

Wishing Happy Relationships For All of Dupont Circle,
Velvet in Dupont

Two Years

Dear X:

Two years ago from tonight was when we first turned the corner. Because we knew each other for so long prior to that fateful texting “conversation,” it seems like much longer than two years. I suppose you feel the same, as evidenced by your statement this morning, “I celebrate more than two years with you. Since the day I met you.”

Two years ago I don’t think I would have believed anyone if they said that yesterday, the last day of year two would be one of the most serious in our relationship thus far, that we would be involved a serious plan on when to have a child, that we would look at a house that we both fell in love with, that we would go to dinner and talk of the future – so far into the future, that all the past seems like it’s just so long ago.

I wouldn’t trade the last two years for anything and I can’t wait to see what the next two, or thirty, bring us.

I love you,

Me

You’re the Sun Who Makes Me Shine

Earlier:

X: I forgot to tell you! I had a dream about you last night!

V: Really? Was it about how you and #2 took my car to the car wash one afternoon and I stayed home and masturbated?

X: No. It was about…wait… Did you just do that while I was out washing your car?

V: Yes.

X: We weren’t gone that long!

V: It doesn’t take long. Besides, with kids and family visits, it’s just been too long. I got tired of waiting.

X: But the mattress guys came and delivered in that time frame too?

V: I know. I sped it along   when I heard the truck driving up the street.

X: Damn. You suck!

V: No. What sucks is they forgot the bed rails. So we have to drive out to the store in Rehoboth to get them.

X: Fuck!

Later:

#2: Velvet, Dad didn’t get all the bugs off your car because he didn’t want to pay for the triple foam wash.

V: How much would that have set you back?

X: Fifty Cents.

#2: V, I really have to question your taste in men.

To self: Bet the magic wand would spend 50 cents for a triple wash.

Higher Than a Kite, I Know I’m Getting Hooked On Your Love

X and I stayed in town this weekend. I wanted to begin the much awaited consolidation of households. This will be a long, slow, painful process if I don’t start really making headway, and fast. So in town we stayed and while I didn’t pack one single box, I do feel as though I did accomplish the tying up of some loose ends. Read: Selling things on Ebay and Amazon. Check out seller velvet13 if you want to bid on my porn. No. I’m not kidding…I’m also selling my doggie cameras. I’ve had enough. I’m done spying on the little fuckers. They can do what they want to my bed. They win.

The real reason we didn’t head to the beach was because X’s mommy wanted us to come over for crabs. Crabs turned into shrimp, but whatever. So we get up there and you just have to picture X’s little Greek Mom trying to feed the hell out of us. X put some shrimp on my plate and he said, “More?” I said, “No, that’s good.” There was an audible gasp. In fact, not only was it audible, it was LOUD. X’s mom was horrified. Lady please. Don’t make me fat like my yiayia’s! That shrimp was doing the backstroke in about three sticks of butter. I saw it. X saw it. My cholesterol went up 10 points just by being in the same room with it.

After X’s mom learned that keeping the inside temperature at 94 degrees wasn’t normal and we closed all the windows and turned on the air, the people next door came out into their yard and started playing some weird game. There were sticks and posts and throwing. It was like Bocce Ball, or cricket or something. I called it Polish Bocce Ball but curiosity got the best of X and he went out to find out what the game was. His foot had barely hit the first step off the porch and the door shut when his mother started about his ex. Holy shit. I don’t know which insult hit the air first but all I could do was nod and agree, agree and nod, and shove cake in my face. Until X came back in the house and there we were, sitting in the middle of an unfinished sentence about his ex. Well I guess it was all too much for his mother to take so she just kept going. And hey, let’s be honest. I certainly wasn’t going to stop her.

What I should have stopped, however, was my complete inhalation of the devil’s food bundt cake. Let’s see. I had a slice on a napkin. Then a slice on a plate. Then I started hacking away at it with the serving knife. Lest you think I wasn’t chatting while all these calories were going in my mouth, I was participating in the full range of insults X’s mom unleashed on X’s ex. For a brief second I thought, “Damn, I hope she doesn’t ever think or say things like this about me.” But then I had a follow up thought:

I’m Greek. I have total immunity.

So X’s mom said two things that made my sugar high unleash into full on tear spilling laughter. First, she said, “Does ex have a job?”

Shit I could not stop laughing.

Then she said, “She used to call here all the time and your father would have to go ring the doorbell so that I could tell her I needed to get off the phone to go see who was at the door.”

That woman is a god damned riot.

When X and I got back to my place we weren’t ready for the weekend to end. I’m sick of weekends ending. I’m ready to play house already.

Anyway. I’m on a Survivor kick. Enjoy.

I Read the News Today Oh Boy Part 2

It’s your favorite! Time to rip apart the local yocal beach paper from Delaware. It was a little harder this time to get the images off their website. X is convinced they are on to me. But I prevailed! I used a scanner! In some pictures I even underlined the parts of the items in question that I find so comical.

X couldn’t understand why a dead baby made me cackle for 10 minutes. It’s not the dead baby, it’s the fact that she couldn’t find the baby when she woke up! Or what about that she slept in bed with the baby to begin with. X, if we have babies, we will not hire a nanny from Delaware!!!

The police and fire wrap up includes the following two articles, side by side.

The burglar broke in to eat some Barbeque? That takes balls! And did it ever occur to them that the dead guy breaking into business might be the same one doing all the other burglarizing?

Oh, X, I found a place we can send the kids to camp!!

And just a happy little picture from some festival.  Am I the only one who think the mom and bear look…related?

Let’s stop in with Miss Manners and see what she’s up to. The second question is better than the first, which was inadvertently cut off slightly.

Why Miss Manners? Have you met Miss Bitter? Miss Bitter lives with Miss Miserable and Miss Alone.

Another great headline…

Where do you put your butt? Mine goes on the toilet. Sometimes it goes in X’s face, butt that’s for another time. Get it? Butt? Ha.

Last one. My favorite this week. Read the entire article. It’s just great.

The front bumper sentence made me cry I was laughing so hard. And that picture doesn’t show any jabbering with witnesses. It just shows him playing pocket pool.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sigh. This is what X and I are surrounded with when we head to the beach. There’s another newspaper out there but I can’t find it online and it’s too painful to scan this particular article I wanted to share. It would seem that someone in our subdivision (how dare they turn on me!) got themselves the lucky break to be writing a column for the locals!   I read it to X over the phone and he had to put me on hold to stab out his eyeballs.

 

 

I Wanna Take a Ride on Your Disco Stick

X and I had a great time in New York. We managed to escape each place containing my family just prior to an implosion. Because X and my parents rise before the roosters, there were several hours on Saturday and Sunday   morning where he was alone with them. Scary. Though, he did well.

I should probably say that the highlight of last Saturday was seeing my nieces in this unprovoked-by-adults act of sweetness in Central Park…

but…the day wasn’t over. X and I ate dinner in Little Italy, and that, like the Keys, are one of the memories we have that we talk about all the time. So, um, sorry nieces. You’re highlight #2. Being #2 isn’t so bad, is it? Well, too bad. Maybe you should try harder next time. Just try to outdo that Cannoli. Try. I dare you.

X and I left New York really late. In the Holland Tunnel I had these grandiose ideas about having sex when we got back home because you know I wouldn’t let him lay a finger on me at my parent’s house. But then we didn’t get back to his place until after midnight which put me home closer to 12:45 a.m. with work in the morning. No sex. Damn it. I had vowed we would make up for lost time by hopping in bed, but that wasn’t to be. We figured we would catch up for lost loving this past weekend but then we found out his kids and my friend would all be joining us at the beach house. Damn.

Unable to wait any longer, X and I closed the door and ripped off our clothes on Friday night. But then we realized it was just a little too noisy, and this is where things go awry. We got out of bed and went into the bathroom and turned on the shower to drown out the noise. I hopped up on the counter and we finished. Relief. Finally.

I slid off the counter and caught something on my hand. It was gooey. I said, “Um, was there a wayward shot?” He said, “Weren’t you in the room too?” I said, “Well, there’s something weird all over me. Turn on the light.”

X flipped on the light and there’s neon blue toothpaste (with mintstrips!) all over the vanity and all down the side of my leg. X? Did you need to brush your teeth? Just scrape the toothbrush against my thigh. Make sure you get some mint strips. Don’t miss the glob by my ankle.

I’m Taking a Greyhound on the Hudson River Line

Back to regularly scheduled programming.

X and I are going to New York this weekend. My brother and his family are in town and we’re meeting up with them at our designated place and time on their highly selective secret schedule. Since the beginning of time, my brother has this way of putting his family dead-last. We’re all used to this and we smile, nod, play with the nieces, then we all get on with our lives. Unfortunately for me but fortunately for X (because it’s entertaining to outsiders) the Greeks are already in major warfare. My parents are wayyyyy beyond smiling and nodding. They’re more so in the mood for tire slashing. I’ll have to keep the Ginzu knives away from them.

X is rather looking forward to this. We are staying with my parents, Gloom and Doom, in Connecticut. Much to my surprise, back in January that they overturned their prior rule that no unmarrieds can share a bed in their house. I think that, gasp, they are going to let us share a bed. Unbelievable. X said he can’t wait for this momentous occasion and he plans to commemorate it by sticking his dick in my ass. I said we will not be having any sex, anal or otherwise, in my parents house in my childhood bedroom. No. Fucking. Way.

X says, “We’ll see about that.”

Groan! Stay away from my sphincter!

He’s been reduced to negotiating by text.

This morning:

X: Ok. How about this. You can “dip” your own finger and put it in my mouth?
V: No.
X: Excuse me for being attracted to you! Okay, how about this? Masturbate with your panties on and then just hand them to me for the night.
V: Again, no!
X: Well this weekend should be good at 123 Asexual Lane.

X told his mother he was going to New York with me and we were staying with my parents. She said, “Oh, will you be talking to them about something when you’re up there?”

X played dumb. He asked what she was talking about.   She said, “A wedding.”

X had to respond that I’m all liberated and stuff, and I don’t believe in weddings.   Then she said something odd.

“Well Velvet looks like she’s ready and she told me that her mother said to not let me get away.”

X said, “My mother is hallucinating.”

I said, “You can bet your ass she is because my mother would never tell me not to let you get away. She’s lives her life believing that her children can always do better. Wait until you see how she treats my sister-in-law. That is, if she even bothers to show up.”

Should be fun!

Part 20: Finale; I Won’t Go, I Won’t Sleep, I Can’t Breathe, Until You’re Resting Here With Me

It’s the end but it’s not the end. This is the last piece of the story, but the story keeps going, and yes, the blog keeps going. Shutting down hasn’t occurred to me, at least not yet.   And I don’t have a big engagement ring picture to show you. While that would be a happy end to the “story,” it’s not my end. (Caution. Big Femmie speak coming.) These last four years of blogging were about empowering ourselves as women to weed through crappy men and not settle for less than the best. Somehow, making the story end with a big rock and a wedding seems like selling out to me, to you, to everyone. I’m more introspective than that. That’s a major reason I hate Sex and the City and all that those dumb bitches stand for. They pretend to stand for empowerment of women, but really, they spent six seasons chasing unworthy men and shopping. Not exactly role models for any of us or our daughters or nieces.

Thank you for taking the journey with me, and with us. X is the great love of my life, and I feel so fortunate to have found him, to have been found, to have found each other.

I could keep going because life keeps going. I could regale you with stories about an old girlfriend who showed up in X’s life and temporarily made ours miserable. I could go through the details on when the ex Mrs. X found out about me and how she turned all her children (you know, the ones he raised and supported but didn’t contribute his sperm to) against him in a flash. I could tell you that he genuinely didn’t care, and that was the ultimate in satisfaction for me and closure for him. But all of that is just life. The details aren’t always important.

The lyrics from one of my favorite songs comes to mind here:

There are places I’ll remember all my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments with lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living in my life I’ve loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers there is no one who compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning when I think of love as something new
Though I know I’ll never lose affection for people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them.
In my life I love you more.

I can’t lie and say that there aren’t conversations about marriage and babies, well, one baby, but we’re still trying to figure out where all of that stands. You know…we’re older. I’m 36. And sometimes I’m not sure if I have it in me to have a life with a baby in it now that I’m more set in my ways. And X is older than I am, and he’s been through the kid thing already. In five years, his kids could be off at college and we could have a nice simple life together. But in five years, when his kids are going off to college, we could be scouting around for a kindergarten class worthy of our prodigal child. I just don’t know which life we’ll have.

I was never that person who desperately wanted to be a mother. I know there are women out there who are maternally hard-wired. I’m not sure I’m one of them. Though, I can say out of dead honesty: I do think if I don’t at least try, then I will always wonder what having a child would have been like. My main reason for wanting to would be what X said to me one night over dinner: “If there are any two people in the world who should have a child together, it’s us.” I believe the impact of that statement would be lost if you hadn’t just spent the last four weeks reading about our history, because everyone thinks that. But with X and I, it’s been such a long journey and such a deep love resulting from the journey, that I believe not trying to have a child with him would be an epic fail.

As far as marriage goes, I’m not sure if every prescription to happiness includes marriage and kids. I’m a pretty staunch feminist, so I have spent the better part of the last month asking why people get married and why it’s necessary. In times when women couldn’t earn the same as their male counterparts, marriage was the only way to create and build a family. But now, no one can give me a valid reason to get married besides the usual crap:

Because it will make your parents happy.

Because it’s right for the kids if you want to live together.

Because you own property together.

Because you are going to have a baby together.

Because the ex wife could sue you for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. (That one was courtesy of my father.)

Because if he dies you have no claims to anything.

Because if he dies, his half of the house and car go to his kids, and because they are under 18, the ex wife will be the one you’ll deal with.

Yikes on that last one…

I remain on the fence. X said before we get married he will tell me exactly why we should. I’m still waiting. It’s a big joke with us now. Not to say we won’t get there, but, I’ve never been that girl. Bride’s magazines and visions of a perfect wedding dress? Yeah. Not so much. That’s never been me. Don’t bother looking for that Glamourshots photo of X and I in the New York Times or WaPo or anything like that. Anything commercial surrounding the wedding really pisses me off. A Vegas drive through or somewhere in the Keys on the beach would be just fine with me.

The love lessons here are inherent. You have to fall in love with your best friend. It’s truly the only way. Sometimes the person you are supposed to be with is right in front of your face. They don’t always come in the obvious form either. Sometimes you end up realizing that the situation surrounding the person you are fated to be with is not what you thought it would be. People have baggage. We all do. No one should feel that they are above it. Relationships take work. It’s important to know when to let go. But more important to know when not to.

Cliche, but, when two people are meant to be together, everything just aligns for them to do so. X had a wife for the first three years that I knew him. For those years I never considered for a moment that we would end up where we are today despite an obvious attraction on both sides. You can’t engineer fate, so while we may decide to “take control” of our lives, most of the work is done for us I believe by putting us in the right place at the right time. The little details are what lies in our hands.

X – I love you. Thank you for making my life an Epic Win, every day.

Part 19: Oh I Am What I Am, I’ll Do What I Want, But I Can’t Hide

September 2008 – February 2009

September would be the witching hour for this divorce. The conversations between X and the hopefully soon to be ex Mrs. X were in full force. She was on the emotional roller coaster from hell and dragging everyone down with her. Seriously. Sometimes I wished she knew about me so I could call her up and tell her to have some fucking respect for herself and to stop acting like a child. Oh. And while we were on the phone I’d also tell her to stop using her uterus as a paycheck. By then she would have hung up on me.

She was wavering between bouts of being sick of the kids and wanting him to pick them up immediately to threats to take the kids and leave the country. It was exhausting. The problem for her was that X was burned out on her anger and emotional bullshit, so he was unresponsive to almost everything. Almost. Threats to take children are the trump card. And she knew that.

After a particularly grueling Labor Day weekend afternoon of texting wars between X and the soon to be ex Mrs. X, he put his arms around me and said, “I am so in love with you.” Sometimes all you have to do is be the non-crazy woman in a sea of crazy women and you come out smelling like a rose.

Later that night, we ended up with another of our firsts. These moments happen so infrequently in long term relationships that you just have to pay attention and know when they are happening so you can record every moment in your head and burn it forever into your happy place. We ended up taking a shower together. When the shower finished and we moved to the bed and shared the sweet words across the pillow that couples share, we were again at a new place. Before he left the next morning he said, “Something changed.” I agreed. It did change. I can’t explain it, it just did. I think at that point we just knew it was forever. And that we were forever.

It of course didn’t stop more on and off drama with the impending divorce. It just wasn’t moving fast enough for me. Up. Down. Up. Down. For what started out so well, September was a rough month until the fated, long awaited for day where he sent me a text that said, “I have the signed divorce agreement.” His attorney filed and they got a court date for shortly into the new year.

The fall was spent running back and forth to the beach house, doing walk throughs, making sure everything was as it was supposed to be. It was an incredible growing experience for our relationship to have something that we thought of and then built together – not necessarily literally as much, but figuratively.

There’s a huge gap of time in my precious Microsoft Word documentation of our relationship. October, November, December. Blank. Blank. Blank. Nothing. I wish I could remember what I’m missing here, but no news was good news. We were finally on track to divorce court with no further encumbrances ahead.

The holidays rolled through town and we spent New Year’s Eve this time in bed with dueling bottles of champagne. We settled on the house in January and promptly started nesting. Shortly after the settlement at the beach, X officially became divorced. Oh. My. God.

X moved from one place to another on pretty short notice and I was the helper-bee. Going from the fourth floor walk up to a townhouse, my ass and legs saw their fair share of stairs that weekend. At the end of the 24 hours of hell, he opened a bottle of Captain Morgan, took a swing and said, “You know, if this keeps going like it’s going, one of us is going to want to get married.”

Oh? Which one?

Part 18: I Don’t Want to Move a Thing, It Might Change My Memory

2008: June – September

It might seem like telling about the fighting is personal, almost too personal. But I want to tell the whole story. It’s not always roses and lollipops, even when the love is the deepest and most lasting of any love of your life. And it’s important, for me anyway, to convey that there are sometimes it’s worth it to stay and fight and sometimes it’s not worth it and you should walk away. Differentiating between the two is only something you can answer by looking in your heart. Honestly looking in your heart.

We recovered from the argument where he mailed my keys back when I drove back to his house and gave them back to him. It wouldn’t be the last of the bickering about the divorce. I tried to remind myself over and over: What if this was your last day with him? Is this how you would want to spend it?

At this point I believe I realized that I (we) were just so in love, that any of this time wasted arguing was exactly that – time wasted arguing. The subject of taking a break had come up during the arguing, but when we were calm and discussing everything we determined that it was impossible for us to really take a break because it was just so difficult to be away from each other. He said, “I’m not going to lose you over this shit.” I said, “I’m not going anywhere.” He said, “I’m not either.” During all this drama would be when he finally said out loud that he was in love with me. Fucking finally. Jesus Christ.

Spring moved into summer and one Saturday we went shopping and bought a game that was a box of questions for couples. Inevitably these games bring about conversations that people may or may not be ready to have. While we sat on the roof of my building drinking a bottle of wine and eating cupcakes from Cake Love (um, eau, not good) X and I had to answer a few questions on issues we had never discussed – like marriage and (more) kids. I believe we turned another corner and entered the “don’t want to be without each other” phase.

The summer was great. We had a lot of fun. We still talk today about the time we just woke up and bolted out to Annapolis to find a restaurant to eat crabs. We both sat facing the water, drinking a pitcher of beer and hammering away at crabs. We kept saying through the next few months how fun that was.

As X recently said to me, “Ideas just constantly swim in your head, don’t they?” It’s true. The little squirrel is always kicking things around up there. One day in August, I started looking at beach real estate again. I hated keeping the dogs cooped up all summer in the city. I wanted a place to go. I googled dog beaches and found some on the Eastern Shore that looked promising. X and I convened on the phone with dueling laptops to see what was out there. We made appointments at several new home communities and drove out that weekend. Shortly after arriving at one closest to the beach we were interested in, we were signing a contract. The house would be started shortly and finished by mid-winter. Great. Not what I had hoped in searching for an already-built (spec) home, but it would do.

The following weekend X and I went to New York City for a few days. He met my parents. I’d cheer and say “Woo Hoo” and explain to you how monumental this was considering NO ONE meets my parents (because they are judgie mcjudgiepoohs) however, at lunch my mom put her personality on display by maligning someone my family knew who had “gotten divorced.” X and I just looked at each other. Insults included at no extra cost.

We had this minor altercation in New York centering around a bartender and X and my suspicion if there was something that went on and wondering if that was why X came to New York alone on New Years Eve. The whole thing spiraled out of control because I apparently saw something that wasn’t there, and X was confused why I was acting the way I was. When we were hashing it out, he told me that he didn’t see anyone past me. I told him I loved him. He said, “I love you too. Maybe one day you will believe me.”

If we weren’t in the fast lane to closure and happiness before, we were heading there fast. During the early days of September, there was movement in the way of the divorce paperwork being signed so as to avoid court. To quote something I wrote at this time, “I have been waiting for this day for so long, I’m afraid of how my emotions will strangle me when the day finally arrives. There is so much about this relationship that I want to broadcast to the world, and yet, as X is my best friend, he is the only one I truly care to share anything with anymore. I’ve isolated myself. But that’s fine with me.”

I’ve become “that girl.” Damn it.

Part 17: I Didn’t Hear You Leave, I Wonder How Am I Still Here

2008: May

As we approached summer our relationship was moving forward by its actions, but there were some ridiculous administrative details in a holding pattern. We had two elephants in the room:

1) Despite the months of banter on the subject, X couldn’t say he loved me. This on its own isn’t bothersome because as he said during this time period, “Do I treat you like I love you?” Well, yes, but, but, but, I have become everything* for you buddy and it would be nice if you could just admit it.

2) By summer, I started (really) asking why the divorce wasn’t moving forward, as opposed to my prior comment here and there on the matter.

*pause for ” * ” clarification: by everything, I mean, I had become X’s best friend and therapist, constantly performing my armchair psychology routine on the who’s what’s and why’s of the psychosis of his “wife.” I felt like if he still didn’t know whether he was or wasn’t, then he was an idiot. And I also felt that if he did know, which he probably did, then he should just tell me, because what the hell was he holding on to? What’s the victory in holding back your love?

We had a series of fights all related to this lack of progress toward a divorce. At the time, I was keeping a “blog” in good old Microsoft Word, and I wrote, “I’m tired of nurturing a relationship that’s a freakshow on wheels.” I was still a big secret from the “wife” because we couldn’t tell her otherwise she may never divorce him, and I was a secret from the kids because of, see above: “wife.” One of our fights – and I know he forgot all about this until now – was over the stupidest thing.

I went to his place and he basically ripped off my clothes and were totally done in under 10 minutes from me walking in the door. I said, “Damn, you must have needed that.” He said, “Well, I didn’t need it.” We went back and forth over the word “need.” He couldn’t even admit that maybe just once, I satisfy something for him that he needs satisfied – whatever it is. It was part of a bigger picture. I got up, got dressed, walked out, and shut off my phone.

The next day when I turned my phone back on, I saw that he had texted over the night that he didn’t know what happened and he didn’t get it. The mere fact that he was up at 3 a.m. thinking about this should have been clue enough to him, that duh, you’re in love and this shit bothers you so much you can’t sleep, but sometimes you have to spell it out for them. I texted back. (Yes, I know. You want to know why all these important conversations occur over text. I rather prefer it that way. I can get my thoughts out uninterrupted and get a mostly instant response.) Anyway, here’s what I said:

“It is really tiring trying to be with someone who so carefully plans their words so much that they can’t give any remote clue to what they are feeling. The whole need/want thing is symbolic of a bigger problem. The fact that you emotionally have nothing left inside of you coupled with the fact that it looks like this divorce will never happen – it looks like a losing battle from my end. Too many hurdles to overcome. And all you want is for me to just be patient. That’s just insulting. I actually think you enjoy this bullshit. It feeds your ego that she still wants to be married to you. I get to hear on a daily basis how mad she supposedly makes you but you don’t do anything about it. Why do you need me as the motivation to end the marriage with her? You should want to end it on your own, because it’s over, not because I’ve come into the picture. I hate the person I’ve become. Nagging you on a daily basis to stay focused. I shouldn’t have to do that but I’m afraid if I don’t, it will be 2009 with no divorce. This is a colossal mindfuck for me – I will have spent all this time in something that stands no chance because the divorce will never happen, and you will never stop calculating your words so intently that I get nothing back at all.”

There were reasons for all of this divorce delay of course. X had to extract from the marriage without getting hosed. And we didn’t want to end up in court – me included. The truth was we had done nothing wrong. But if it went to a long ugly trial, the simplistic cliche would be painted of “boss fucking secretary” and it would have been a total disaster. The fight that ensued with the above texting happened on the same weekend where X’s father died. Damn if I didn’t just pile on to his stress. And damn if his “wife” didn’t get to go to the funeral.

Here we were – at a point where this man was sharing his heart with me, and because of a stupid miserable technicality that should be on meds and in a straitjacket, I couldn’t be with him at his father’s funeral. I really grew to despise the situation I was in. We repaired it – but we didn’t go long without another fight. Two weeks to be exact.

The “wife” had decided she was taking the kids and moving away. He was freaking out and panicking and I, with my fantabulous bedside manner, said, “This is all your fault. If you had just divorced her when you left to begin with, there would be a custody agreement and she couldn’t do this. All I see is that you have the same conversation over and over where you ask her about a divorce and she blows you off and you back down. I’m fucking sick of it.”

We didn’t talk for three days. He mailed me a goodbye letter and included my house keys. Fucker.

Part 16: So Much Love to Make Up Everywhere You Turn

2008: January – April

During December, ex-boss and I got seemingly more involved with each other by way of some really deep conversations, but at the turn of the new year, I think I shook myself awake, literally. I just realized that maybe this wasn’t going to pan out the way I had thought and I should just refocus my life on me and going back to work and getting my life together.

I actually made a deal with myself, I was going to slowly slide out of his life. I was tired of realizing I would come last in a long line containing a wife that might never have the “ex” in front of it, her kids, and their kids, and his work. I stopped responding so quickly and so enthusiastically to his texts. I swear, men can fucking smell it when they are being blown off. I wasn’t playing a game, I was just prioritizing as per my goal of the cross country trip. My priorities were to get a job, be closer to my family, and be a good mommy to Sammy and Thora who suddenly started having annoying and costly health problems. I was also well aware that I was in love. It just didn’t feel like it would ever be requited.

I was laying in bed one night (alone) and leaned over and wrote on my trusty nightstand notepad:

“How is the love for my first love, K, different from what I’m feeling now, which is obviously love? K and I were like two kids whose parents left us home alone with money and keys to the car. It was always fun. It was always a party in our house. Our love grew not because we were so compatible, but because we had this mutual admiration and respect for each other. We really liked the other person – he really wanted to be more “responsible” like I was, and I wished I could be more of the free spirit he was. When we broke up, it shattered my world.   A lot. I had a six year drug run ended in April 2007 when he reappeared in my life, fresh from his stay in rehab. One week after our first conversation would be the last time I would ever touch a drug. My pain was over. He was alive and sober and we were friends and my life could officially go on again. My current growing love now? Totally different. With K, we spent most of our time dissecting other people around us with “issues,” ignoring our own issues, which ultimately destroyed everything. With the ex-boss, we spend 99% of our time discussing and dissecting ourselves.”

It was true. The ex-boss and I spent hours on the phone in Jan/Feb analyzing each other, our thoughts, actions. It was so different than what I had been used to. With the ex-boss and I, it was all about us and how neglected our emotional needs had been. We became each other’s therapist and best friend.

Through several ridiculous events, I believe I helped him realize the manipulation operation in full force by the wife – the tricks she was using to deflect his attention on the divorce, the cries for help, the illnesses, the E.R., the drama, the temper tantrums, the demands that he fix things in what was now (or going to be) her house. During one of these groundbreaking conversations I texted to him: “You are opening up with me more than I am used to. Not that this is a bad thing. I’m just surprised because everything is usually a joke with you.”

In January, he officially became jobless. He was laid off as well, or took the imminent layoff, and then he suddenly had much more time to play with me. We would sit on the phone for hours looking at websites, clothes, sex toys. You name it, we shopped it.

It is around this time that we started speaking daily. In early February, he sent me a text that he wanted to go to Key West. He booked it for early March and we went on our first vacation together. We had a great time.   We finally spent not only a full night with each other, but a whole weekend. When we returned back home, we had turned another corner and hit the speed lane. Now we would split up who went to whose house, but he more often than not left by 5 or 6 a.m.

I saved a text exchange that was a pretty defining moment for us.

Him: Are you in love?
Me: Yes
Him: Hmm
Me: Brave of you to ask. I figured you knew.
Him: No. I didn’t really think too much about it. But I’m learning about how you drop hints. Like putting your toe in the water.
Me: Did I drop hints? I honestly think we both are. And have been for a while. And the extent to which we feel and acknowledge is different. But it’s there.
Him: I could get there but I don’t want to let myself get there. I convince myself I can control it.
Me: I’m not sure if one has a choice in this. You know how you think about me during the day? You know how you say you are closer to me than any of your exes? Its like that. Its like where I think I could hold your hand and just be happy to touch you when my past experience with men never ever brought a desire for hand holding. Kissing. Talking on the phone for hours. Most people annoy me. So thats how I know.
Him: I’m glad I do that to you. You just made me laugh. You write well – even texting.
Me: Just try not to get scared. I have no desire to be with anyone else. Not going anywhere and not getting psycho if you do.
Him: You are very non-threatening. I enjoy you in many ways. You won’t scare me. I don’t scare away easily.

We continued through the spring making progress similar to the text exchange you read above. I admitted I was in love, and he found it difficult to admit. We would joke about it back and forth because he would walk into it all the time. You know when someone is in love with you. You can tell. They say things like, “I woke up thinking about you today,” or ” “You popped into my head today and I realized how happy you make me,” and you just know.

By this time, he had taken on his commenting name on this blog. In case you haven’t figured it out – he is indeed Mr. X.

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