Velvet in Dupont

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


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


Fertility Clinics Are Big Business – Part Two

4 IVF Cycles
105 Shots
2.5 years
Zero babies

X and I spent all night debating all the finer points of IVF and everything we’ve learned. While I love Shady Grove, and will continue to recommend them to anyone who asks, I have found their downside. It’s not just theirs, but that of many other clinics, and why all this really is just a big business. No matter what a doctor says about how he/she wants to help you “get your baby,” they won’t do so at a cost. I’ll get to that in a minute.

X had the foresight to pay for a multi-cycle discount which gave us the 2nd IVF at half price. His theory was that if we paid for the 2nd one, they had more incentive to make the first one work. He said it was sort of like insurance. (Remember, X gets hot down there for insurance products.) The first IVF didn’t work. No surprise there, I just expect the bad news now. When we started up the next round it was almost surreal. I literally could not believe I was getting the shots again.

Shady Grove changed the meds because I didn’t respond well the prior time. This time, as I went in for daily blood tests and sonograms, it sounded like we were hitting home runs all over the place.   But, this is the lottery where you win, then they start taking money away from you and leave you with nothing.

1st IVF: 15 eggs retrieved, 13 fertilized, 7 started dividing and only 4 were barely alive at day 3.
2nd IVF: Natural, no meds. 1 egg retrieved. Reached 5 day blastocyst, i.e. “the best it gets.”
3rd IVF: 7 eggs retrieved, 2 fertilized and started dividing and were put back in at day 3.
4th IVF: 10 eggs retrieved, 6 fertilized and started dividing and all 6 continued through to day 4. By day 5, 2 died and we were down to 4 eggs, a few of which were slowing in growth.

See how those numbers sound so good at first, but then every day after the egg retrieval, you keep losing?

They choose the strongest 2 embryos to put back in, and will freeze what is left as long it is a blastocyst. This means that if you have 6 embryos that are growing and 2 become blastocysts, they will put those two in. And guess what happens to the other 4? They aren’t good enough for their Kenmore’s apparently, so they throw them out.

This is exactly what happened to us. We asked if I could have just one of those other embryos put in with the two good quality ones, and they said no – two is their max. Their position is if it is not a blastocyst at day 5, then it would “most likely” not survive a freeze/thaw. Well, how does that explain my friend who has a 6 year old right now who was one of these “bad quality undesirable” embryos? How does it explain all the other women on message boards who had frozen, low quality, highly fragmented embryos put back in that resulted in a child?

You may be asking, why won’t the clinics just let you have your embryos and give them a chance? Because every failed embryo transfer, whether fresh or frozen, goes against a clinic’s stats. So they rely on statistics while we leverage our assets preparing for the next step and wonder if our child just got flushed into the Potomac.

So all this bodes the question that we’ve been debating all night. Most women get few, if any blastocysts. Is it worth it to spend all this money and go through the financial, physical and emotional drain to get the 2 embryos they’ll allow you on transfer day, knowing that the other ones will be thrown away?

I never expected this reaction but I cried as I told X tonight, I feel like someone actually took a baby away from us.

No more IVF for me. It’s one thing if the embryos are put inside you and don’t result in a pregnancy, but it’s a whole other ballgame if they never even allow them the chance to try.

Washington Fertility Center vs. Shady Grove Fertility

Warning: This post is incredibly detailed with medical jargon you may find coma-inducing.You don’t have to read it all…I bolded the important parts. Mostly I want to solidify its place in the event I can help some poor woman in the future.

In most cases, I love it when something I didn’t understand finally makes itself clear to me. I also love it when I’m right. Not this time.

We just finished the IVF with Shady Grove. We don’t know much yet but I’ll report in when we do. I’m not hopeful since I’ve endured this before, only to have it fail.   Having gone through the whole process at Shady Grove and finding it 1000 times better, more professional and easier than the other stimulated IVF we did, I have learned a ton.

My Ob/Gyn, who I love, recommended two years ago we see Dr. Asmar at Washington Fertility.   We liked him and felt like he could help us, so we began the IVF process. From the 2nd or 3rd day of the shots I was sick. I could not understand how friends of mine did this 5 and 6 times. When I reached the point where I was homicidal and knew my body could take no more, Dr. Asmar said I needed to do one more day of shots. I was beside myself. I couldn’t believe it. I knew something was wrong with my body, we had already lost faith in them when they lost X’s sperm, when they overcharged us, when they routinely made us wait an hour even though the office was empty, when their two receptionists treated us like crap, but I just knew something was wrong. From what I know now, it appears that I was overstimulated.

When your follicles are overstimulated, you will get tons of eggs, but few of them are viable. There were 15 eggs retrieved from me on Friday, February 5, 2010 at 8:30 a.m. I went home to bed. X came in around mid-afternoon and said, “Good news, 13 of the 15 eggs fertilized!” We were so happy. What we know now from our experience with Shady Grove is that the eggs take about 24 hours to “fertilize.” So a phone call 6 hours later from Washington Fertility stating 13 fertilized eggs was clearly a lie.

That evening, as it started snowing the Great Snowstorm that gave the DC area 3 feet of snow, X and I discussed how wonderful it would be to have enough embryos frozen that we could have a few kids off this one IVF cycle. We lost power that evening, as did most of the metro area. X said to me at 11:00 Friday night, “I hope they didn’t lose power at the lab.” Suddenly our minds went to our 13 little embryos, the little Velvet/X combos and my heart sank. They had told us at Washington Fertility that they planned to stay at the lab all weekend in anticipation of the storm, but as the snow pounded the city, we didn’t hear anything all weekend long. What we know now from our experience with Shady Grove is that you should get a daily phone call after egg retrieval. The day after retrieval they call with a fertilization report. The second day they call to tell you when to expect the embryos will be transferred. For a variety of reasons they determine at this point whether you should transfer the embryos on day 3 or 5 post retrieval. We received no such call from Dr. Asmar’s office at Washington Fertility.

Monday morning, February 8, 2010, the medicine cocktail I was still taking had burned through my esophagus so badly I hadn’t been able to eat all weekend without throwing it back up. Dr. Asmar’s office called to say that “only 7 eggs survived the weekend and only 3 were dividing normally.” Because they weren’t even decent quality, they recommended an immediate transfer. We asked for a delay because of my vomiting issue (I seriously just wanted my fucking body to be normal again) and he said no, this was important to do today as the embryos typically do better inside the mother. What we know now from our experience with Shady Grove is that this transfer should be scheduled the day prior, and you shouldn’t receive a panicky phone call from your allegedly competent doctor telling you to come right away.

When we got to Washington Fertility they showed us a picture of 6 embryos and said that a 4th had “started to divide.” We never did find out why they said 7 embryos on the phone but only showed us 6. What we know now from our experience with Shady Grove is that an egg doesn’t just suddenly start dividing 3 days later. If they are going to arrest development it’s early in the process, and then they don’t keep going. Because we got no phone calls from Friday afternoon with our “fake” fertilization report, until Monday morning’s panicked “you have to come right away,” it’s obvious that these people lied. They were NOT in the lab at all, because if they were, we would have received calls, and not all of those eggs would have died. The lab needs to wash, change fluids, etc, and this probably wasn’t done. It appears they left the embryos to fend for themselves and went home to shovel their driveways.

When you reach the end of your hormone shots, the clinic calls you and tells you to take a “trigger” shot that tells your follicles to release the eggs. Exactly 36 hours later, they have you go in for an egg retrieval. I had 12 follicles this time but some were sluggish. Based on the sizes, I had thought they would have me go another day on shots, and X and I were prepared for a last minute trip to the pharmacy to pick up more. When Shady Grove called with my directive to take the trigger shot I was sort of stunned. Last IVF I was begging for that shot, but this time, I could have easily gone another day. I asked the nurse why. What we know now from our experience with Shady Grove can be summed up by her response: “Well, we watch for the estrogen jump, and as long as it jumps as much the following day, we keep going. When it levels off, your body is going to stop maturing the eggs and you could risk losing the bigger follicles as they will be too old now.”   I went back to look at my records from good old Dr. Asmar.

Before I compare estrogen levels, here’s a tidbit of useful information on Estrogen and proper numbers during IVF:

Exact figures are not possible. As a rough guide, however, a level in the range of 150 to 500 pg/ml is generally considered reasonable for the eighth day of a stimulated cycle. An approximate doubling of this level every 48 hours is considered promising, as a sign of continued good follicle development.

Let’s compare Estrogen Levels for both cycles.

Washington Fertility
Day 5       149
Day 7       489
Day 10   1323
Day 11   3312
Day 12   3458

I didn’t have an appointment on Day 8, but let’s assume I was around 500 just for fun since I was at 489 on Day 7.   Following with the guide above, day 10 I should have been 1000; I was 1323. Day 12, had I been 1000, I should have been 2000; I was 3458. That’s 73% higher than I should have been. Those eggs weren’t over-easy, they were scorched.   While they don’t provide targets of estrogen because every woman is different, it appears from that example above that if you stimulate for 12 days with shots, the max your estrogen should reach is 2000.

Shady Grove
Day 6         189
Day 7         302
Day 9         481
Day 11     1106
Day 12     1380
Day 13     1599

My day 8 estrogen was clearly in the range of 150 – 500 since days 7 and 9 are in that range. It’s safe to assume though that they did it right. I was responding to the meds more slowly, but when the jump from day 9 to 11 was 625 points, then from 11 to 13 it went 493 points, it was time to trigger.

See what happened at Washington Fertility with Dr. Asmar? I was right. I was totally overstimulated, could go no further physically and they should have given me the trigger shot when I asked for it. The jump in estrogen from 1323 to 3312 was the big one, but then the fact it went only another 140 points? Dr. Asmar totally missed the entire window of opportunity and all that pain, torture and money was for nothing because my eggs weren’t viable. Couple that with the fact they weren’t at that lab that weekend, and those embryos didn’t stand a chance. I love being right, but this time it’s heartbreaking.

After my experience at Washington Fertility, I left some reviews on various doctor review sites. Like clockwork, their stupid nurses would come in right after me and leave positive reviews. Except they are soooo stupid because you can tell it’s them writing the reviews based on what they say. On one of the sites they even wrote “Velvet we know who you are and we’ll call your job and tell them you’re crazy.”   Um….nice. Except that their English isn’t that proper.   Washington Fertility has been on a massive PR parade. They also since redesigned their website and put up testimonials that are clearly fake…just as fake as their fertility reports.

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.

Fertility Clinics are Big Business

Dominion called me on Friday. I saw the number on my phone and wondered wtf could they want. Insurance info. I don’t know why as most insurance has no coverage for IVF, mine included. She said she wanted to check as they may cover the pregnancy test next week and blah blah. I’m on an HMO so I told her I doubted it because of the whole referral nonsense. So 2 minutes later calls back to say I was right, and there’s no coverage, and did we want to “self-pay” for the remaining visits. I was like, “What remaining visits?” She goes on to explain that if I get a positive pregnancy test, they will have me come in for “monitoring” every few days for 8 FUCKING WEEKS. I was like, “Are you joking???” I mean, come the fuck on, I cannot get up and drive in the opposite direction from work every other day at 7 a.m. for you to add me to your statistics pile.

I said “I don’t understand. If I were to get pregnant by normal customs, I’d pee on a stick and show up at my ob/gyn within a few weeks. Why do I need 8 weeks of monitoring if it isn’t included and doesn’t have any ob/gyn care? I can go to my ob/gyn and get it covered by insurance.”   Ah ha. Caught you. She said if I wanted to go to my ob I could (yeah? thanks, but I didn’t need your permission) and that I didn’t have to do the monitoring. I said, “That’s good because after what you guys did to me the other day I’m not committing to anything until we get resolution from the doctors.” That shut her up.

X said, “this is like when you get a cruise for cheap and they make you buy the excursions because that’s where they make all their money, or when you buy a house and then get all the upgrades, which they mark up like 100%.” Yup. How the hell they can charge $5000 for a natural cycle and then have the nerve to call and try to trick you into this added 8 weeks of bullshit is beyond me.

I was texting with my friend this morning about stupid things people say when you’re in a crisis. The roots of this conversation of course were based on our mutual fertility struggles. I’m making the disclaimer that if anyone commented with any of these, I’m sorry, but this is my list of shit NOT to say to someone with fertility issues until you know exactly what the problems are. (And even then, they probably considered all these choices and opted not to do them for one reason or another.)

* Why don’t you adopt? (It’s not about “a kid,” it’s about “our kid.”)
* How about donor sperm? (X’s sperm work. There’s just a roadblock.)
* How about donor eggs? (My eggs are perfectly fine. In fact, I am “reproductively younger” than my chronological age, whatever the fuck that means.)
* How about a surrogate? (Okay, this is by far the stupidest thing to say to someone. It is not carrying the child that is the problem. It’s getting X’s stuff to my stuff to make el bebe. Hiring a surrogate would help our problem as much as taking a vitamin when you have a headache.)
* I’m sure there’s more but I can’t think of it right now.

I had a friend who was slowly experiencing the loss of her husband. She told me that people would say the stupidest things to her, and I always believed her but I felt like giving people the benefit of the doubt was necessary. They meant well, and I know people in this case mean well, but still, it’s not helpful and then it forces me into explaining that all the parts work, the roads are just closed. And then I get so discouraged that I start trolling the fertility message boards and let me tell you – those are scary places. They all talk in code and I don’t get what the hell they are saying. I have to google almost everything they write. Then I realized that these women all live for and are defined by their ability to conceive. It consumes them.

I’ve peed on my fair share of sticks (all negative,) but thankfully, it’s not the only thing propping up my whole world.

Having a Baby is Impossible – Part 2

I really appreciate everyone’s thoughts, comments and well wishes. Because the blog reposts to my Facebook, I had the chance to catch up with people who I haven’t chatted with in years, when the post was plastered on my wall.

What is amazing is how many people I know have been touched by fertility issues. It makes me wonder what is so different now from 40, 100, 1000 years ago when there were no assisted reproductive techniques. What did people do? Because damn if that waiting room at Dominion wasn’t filled every time we went there. It makes me wonder if the stresses of life are just too much for people to provide the right environment for conception, or if this is just a medical scam.

This is clearly big business. In hindsight, perhaps we should have stuck with Shady Grove. One of my friends commented as much, and I wanted to actually address this with a proper answer. Shady Grove was our first stop. My brain could not get around the idea that we would have to do IVF when there was only a vasectomy in the way. It’s like driving down the road, seeing a pothole, and instead of driving around it you stop the car and get in an airplane to fly over it. It just seemed extreme, and that there were a bunch of stops along the way to full blown IVF.

What I also hated about Shady Grove was before X and I got our asses to touch the visitor’s chairs in their office, they were pulling out this laminated card with their 60% success rate statistics. It felt like an infomercial.   What I also don’t like about them is that they don’t do Natural Cycle IVF, but if you google natural cycle, Shady Grove is most often first, with a link to the page where they discuss why they don’t think Natural Cycle IVF is worth shit. Yeah, well, obviously that article was written by someone with a penis because any woman who takes all those hormones in the stomach for 3 weeks would never write something so ridiculous.

Washington Fertility was no different. They also reported about a 60% success rate, but I don’t believe them. If he retrieved 15 eggs from me and got a big fat zero, then he’s not doing so well. Especially considering another clinic proved I have healthy, viable eggs with no issues. But back to hindsight being 20/20, I’m willing to bet dollars to donuts that if I went through the cycle with Shady Grove and they got 15 eggs, there would have been a baby by now.

I saw three separate doctors after the latest IVF. This wasn’t my choice, but what happened in the procedure necessitated it. I truly do not wish this misery on my worst enemy. I cannot find any evidence online of people having their bladder punctured during an IVF cycle, but of course, if you told me that there would be a million procedures this year and during retrieval one patient would get struck by lightening through the window – that person would be me.

Someone pointed out either here or on Facebook something which X and I have already beaten ourselves up over. We wasted 2 years with these doctors. Two years. Doctors are not Gods. They don’t know it all. Some of them don’t know shit. You have to take hold of your own healthcare and make your own decisions, and you have to question everything. It seems like they recently lowered the bar for graduating from med school because I never remember doctors being this inept when I was growing up. Or maybe I was just seeing the world through different eyes.

Having a Baby Is Impossible

X made me promise not to talk about this, but unfortunately, I’ve reached the end of the line and I need to get it out.

Those of you who can get pregnant the normal way should thank your lucky stars. X had a vasectomy when he was married to the beast and two years ago we decided we might like to have a baby. My ob/gyn said that all they would do is have a urologist extract sperm from X and put it into a turkey baster into me, and voila. Since the only thing standing in our way was the snip, we researched the best urologists for this, found one was in DC and met with him. We also discussed reversing the vasectomy. He said, “No problem, but just go to Shady Grove and get the tests to make sure Velvet doesn’t have any issues on her side. You don’t want to reverse a vasectomy only to find out she has a blockage or something.” Fair enough.

Here’s my Review of Shady Grove Fertility:
April, 2009. We met with some doc there and began the battery of tests. Everything came back better than normal, and we went back to Shady Grove and said, “Okay, when can we do the artificial insemination?” They said, “you won’t get enough sperm so you have to do full IVF.” I’m really cutting to the chase on this, but this was over about a month of time because these tests are all on certain days of your cycle. I felt cheated, like, why did I bother going through these tests if they were just going to send me to the last stop of IVF anyway? I felt like they were just giving us the hard-sell into their most profitable procedure and we never went back.

My ob/gyn recommended we go to Washington Fertility. I love my ob/gyn and I thought that her recommendation would be the right one.

Here’s my Review of Washington Fertility:
June, 2009: X and I instantly liked the one doctor at Washington Fertility. He seemed like a nice guy and very interested in helping us. He said, “If you only want one child, why reverse a vasectomy? Just do IVF. I had a hard time wrapping my mind around this, but finally in the Fall of 2009 we agreed we would go this route. It seemed so unbelievable that something as simple as a vasectomy was causing all this trouble. When we agreed to start the process in January, 2010, the trouble started. Despite the nurse’s orders that I needed to absolutely call on Day 1 of my period, the witches at the front desk treated me like crap and said to “call back next week,” making me miss an entire month. When they started charging X’s credit card, they double charged a bunch of things and we couldn’t even decipher what they had done. When we questioned what they charged, they got nasty and belligerent and for the rest of the weeks we went there, they wouldn’t even look at us or speak to us. We addressed this with the doctor and he assured us he would review our charges.

During the process, I got very sick. It’s not easy to take 3 hormone shots a night in the stomach and get progressively sicker each day. I gained 20 lbs and was completely miserable. Just the idea of clothes touching my body was painful. I was sick to my stomach, couldn’t eat, couldn’t drink and couldn’t go to the bathroom. Despite the fact that I developed 18 follicles – totally unheard of for a 36 year old – they kept wanting to do “one more day” of meds. I had to put my foot down and say that I couldn’t take anymore. X tried to call their emergency line and paged the doctor several times. He never called back. When they looked at X’s sperm, they said it was all dead, and we would need to arrange for another extraction. X called his doc who was totally shocked and said, “I just left there and there were 3 vials of live sperm.” For 2 hours we were on the phone between docs and labs trying to figure out the truth and whose sperm they were speaking about. We still don’t know.

They retrieved 15 eggs from me (not all follicles have an egg inside) and 13 fertilized. Again, these are insane numbers for a 36, almost 37 year old. That weekend we had a big old snowstorm and the entire metro area lost power. They claim to have generators but I’m not sure. All the eggs died except 4 very weak ones. They recommended we get all 4 implanted. Needless to say, I didn’t get pregnant. During the transfer of the 4 embryos Dr. Asmar literally kept asking the lab assistant, “Here? How about here?” If you believe the gods of google, the transfer is the most important part of the process, for one wrong move and the embryos won’t stick. And Dr. Asmar had no clue where to put them. The lab tech had to tell him.

The way Dr. Asmar and his staff treated us was a disaster, but it got worse. I put reviews online attesting to my experience and the staff put reviews right behind me saying “We know who you are and we’re going to tell your office how crazy you are so you lose all your clients.” I screen capped it all. One may wonder how I know it was them. Because the time stamp was pretty close to the time stamp on my site stats and on our company site stats and on this blog, with a big old “WASHINGTON FERTILITY” in the referrer line. When you’re a stupid receptionist at an incompetent doctor’s office, I wouldn’t expect you to understand how stats work, but you get a big FAIL for that you dumb bitch.

We were told to go to Dominion Fertility and so we requested our records from Washington Fertility. It took 4 very painful attempts to get ALL the records. They kept playing games and we ended up filing complaints on Washington Fertility for HIPAA violations and with the medical board for the doctor’s lack of care.

Then the reality sunk in. It’s not the money. It’s not the incompetence. It’s not the lack of a baby. It’s that nagging feeling about the “lost” sperm, the 15 eggs and the question of their status, and the fear that my egg or X’s sperm went into someone else’s body. When you conceive a child through sex, these are things that never cross your mind.

A year later, we continue to get bills from the for “sperm storage” despite the fact that they have said several times there was none left. We continue to send letters asking Dr. Asmar why he still charges us for sperm and he refuses to answer. This, along with withholding records, is also a HIPAA violation. We filed another complaint this week.

We decided to go to Dominion Fertility and do the Natural Cycle IVF. (No meds, they just wait on your one egg to pop, then grab it.) I’m not sure I can do a review of this facility at this point as I just had my one lone egg retrieved this morning. However, I can tell you this much. I will never do IVF again.

While retrieving the egg, they poked a hole through my bladder and blood came out where pee should be, and they had to give me a catheter for 2 hours while the urine cleared. If it didn’t clear, I would have had to wear a pee bag for 2 days. They agreed to remove the bag and I have never felt such pain in my life. The nurse ran out of the room and came back in with another nurse who said, “Didn’t you deflate the balloon in her bladder first?” It was like trying to get a golf ball out my pee hole.   At this point I was in tears, and completely hysterical. I’m squeamish with medical procedures but nothing grosses me out more than the urinary tract. I had kidney stones once and it was a pretty miserable experience getting a catheter but this was 100 times worse.

I practically ran out of there in tears and it’s hard to believe that anyone in this fertility game really knows what they are doing. There’s just a fucking vasectomy standing in our way (that has since been reversed and it didn’t work) and no one can help us without putting me through physical and emotional pain I just never thought I would know in my life.

So for all of you women who can have a baby the normal way, please, thank God, Gucci, or whoever you thank, and be so happy you don’t have to endure this.

And there you have it. The reason that for the last year I’ve been basically MIA. This has occupied a lot of my time and I’ve been pretty depressed from it.

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… 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.”

Take Out Some Insurance on Me

X is having a love affair of epic proportions with his bachelor pad apartment. I swear to Gucci it’s taking him forever to get the hell out of there. He keeps saying he threw out and/or donated a lot of stuff, and that “there’s not that much left.” But then I go over there and his version of “not that much” is my version of “ohmygod we need a Hoarders style intervention.” He’ll be in good company though since my family should be there too. In fact, gotta love them, we dumped a ton of X’s stuff off on them. They don’t even ask questions. They just opened the garage and took it all in, right in the middle of Sunday’s blizzard.

To be fair, X says I have a problem not with hoarding, but with saying no to my mother. She has dumped more sheets and towels off on me over the years, most of which are obsolete because today’s deep mattresses just don’t accommodate sheets from 1954. I’m learning, though. Before we left their house this time my mom tried to pawn her wares off on us.

Gloom: Do you want the king size sheets I have upstairs?
Me: We don’t even have a king size bed.
Gloom: Well, in case you get one.
Me: We’re not getting one until we move, and at this rate, it will be forever. Besides, all the sheets you give me don’t fit the bed. Then we go sliding off the mattresses I wake up with fitted sheet in the crack of my ass.
Gloom: Okay. I’ll keep them upstairs for you. Let me know when you want them.
Me: No more linens. We’re drowning in linens!
Gloom: They’ll be here when you’re ready.

Okay, Okay, I know. I didn’t exactly ward that off, just postponed it until a later date. Baby steps.

When X went to pick up the rental truck at Budget, they asked if he wanted insurance. He said that our insurance covered him, and the truck rental guy said it probably didn’t. X called the insurance company to find out it would cover liability but not damage, so he opted for that insurance. I grew up with a dad who laughed at all those add-ons, sniffing them out as a profit center. He always took his chances and I never saw it backfire. Because the Baklava doesn’t fall far from the tree Box from Swiss Colony, I never added any type of insurance to any car rental. The one time I bought that Circuit City extended warranty for my Sony Walkman in 1994 I was almost disowned. But when it comes to insurance, my husband is a different story.

X loves insurance. If X could manage this, he would cheat on me with insurance. He would have a three way with his car insurance and life insurance. When his health insurance showed up, it would be a disgusting, no holes spared, orgy. They do not make insurance the man doesn’t have. He would buy insurance insurance if there were such a product. I have cheated the insurance thing left and right in his eyes – most notably when we rented a car in Napa and they took two hours to process us and we had been first in line (also Budget rental by the way.) I was so hungry that when they asked if I wanted insurance I practically gouged their eyes out. “GIVE ME THE CAR AND NO I DON’T WANT YOUR FUCKING INSURANCE!!” X told me I would regret this. I didn’t. However what I did regret was not upgrading to a luxury car because the morons forgot to charge my credit card. For any of it. Score!

Anyway, back to the truck rental. We went outside to inspect the truck, noted the existing damage, and X said he would meet me back at his place. The truck rental guy said, “Do you want me to pull it out for you?” X said he could do it. I heard the guy say “Are you sure” and X again declined his offer. As I was walking across the parking lot to my car (which is currently idling like it’s driving through the Sub-Sahara!?!) and started the engine. I went out a different exit and was waiting and waiting and waiting, and no X. I gave up and headed toward home when he called me.

Me: Where are you?
X: Just got out of the parking lot. Did you see what happened?
Me: No. I totally lost track of you.
X: When I was pulling out of the parking lot I hit the trailer next to me.

Great. I just got home and found a sock on the doorknob.

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.


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,


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?
No. I don’t even remember that book.
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.)
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.)
JESUS MOM! What are all these piles? STOP taking books out of the boxes!!!
Well, I want to see these books!
Seriously, stop. You want me to go through them, I’m going through them.   Another for the nieces pile.
When you see the girls, just bring them two books.
Are you two getting anywhere?
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!
That’s your mother. I don’t do that.
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!

Searching Everywhere, You Turn and Swear, It’s Always Been There

I wish I could give you a blow by blow detail of the wedding, but sadly, it all blew by so quickly that I barely remember anything. And I only had a couple beers.

When we caravaned to my parent’s house on Thursday, X’s mom was so pleased to meet my mom – a fellow Greek. X’s mom is just beside herself that this wife (cough, ME) is Greek. They had a grand old time those two. But because Number 1 and Number 2 went to bed at 5:15 a.m. Wednesday night, and we woke up at 5:30, they needed naps upon our Connecticut arrival. They went back to the hotel, and my mom went into mom-mode.

“So, you promised you would take that thing out of your tongue when you got married.” (I’m not exactly sure why I promised this to my mom, maybe because it represented the last vestige of my crazy single life.) I reached inside my mouth, unscrewed my tongue ring, and handed it to her. She laughed and said, “GREAT!” and threw it across the kitchen. Who knew that bothered her so much?

What was bothering me was a sudden appearance of two bruises on my right arm that looked like Lyme Disease. The entire family gathered around my arm trying to decide wtf was going on. Then I said, “Oh, can we also discuss this?” At this point I showed them the zit/goiter/new planet that seemed to take hold on my jawline. Ugh. My mom thought I was breaking out in hives. No amount of makeup would cover this.

X and I had a plan. The hotel/restaurant where we were having the wedding cost a fortune, so we blocked rooms at a Hilton in the next town. Thursday night he stayed with Number 1 and Number 2 at the hotel, and I slept my last night in la Casa Mommy and Daddy with my brother, the Elitist, slathering zit medicine on my goiter-zit, every hour on the hour. The next morning he and I inspected the zit and thought we did pretty well. I figured the rest of the roadkill could be covered with makeup. Then I went downstairs and my dad said, “WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED TO YOUR NECK?” Great! It metastasized! And the oldest guy in the room saw it first. Not. Good.

Back to the plan. X was going to dress at the Hilton, I would dress at our wedding location, and we would meet on the deck to get hitched. No. Such. Luck. My half hour makeup appointment went in excess of 90 minutes as the entire staff at the MAC store attempted to cover my lyme disease and the puberty-redux happening on my neck. When I got back to my parents house, my dad had hijacked my friends from Atlanta after picking them up at LaGuardia and had them at the kitchen table eating sandwiches. At 4:00!!! When the wedding was at 6:00!!! And all the vendors were at the hotel!!! And X isn’t. And neither was I! Where the hell did the day go? Then just as I got to the wedding location, X calls and says he was almost there, and realized he forgot his suit. He had to turn around and go back to the other hotel to get it. When my mom showed up she was like, “Oh my God can anything go right right now?”

I went downstairs in my bathrobe and put out the placecards and the table identifers. We used Greek Islands instead of numbers. But because each table had a different number of guests, I had to sit there and count. “Okay, this table has 10 places set…this is the Rhodes table….okay lay out cards for people who I put at a 10-top…” and so on. The waiters thought I was the Wedding Coordinator, the Event Manager thought I was the bride’s sister and I was thinking about finding some narcotics, crushing them and rolling around in them on the floor I was so freaked out.

The photographer and I had a few nice moments in the room before the melee. First Mommy. Then Daddy. Then my brothers…friends…nieces…dogs….X. We literally got dressed in front of 10 people, with cameras snapping all over the place.   There is clearly nipple (mine) on the video. But I wouldn’t trade that part for the world, because here occurred what will no doubt lead as one of my most cherished moments in my life. Once I got my skin tight dress on, I realized I couldn’t bend to put on my shoes. Without prompting, each of my nieces took it upon themselves to grab a shoe, and put it on one of my feet. I should mention my nieces are 3 & 1/2 and almost 5 years old. And I should also mention that my shoes tied around the ankle and had a belt-like strap that had to be poked through a hole.

A lot of you have read this blog for 5+ years and know that I have never posted a picture of myself. I’m changing that rule because this picture absolutely must be shared.


Here’s where I’d like to say that the rest of the night was fantastic, however, that would be a lie. Let’s see…how shall I put this?

I fucking fell down the stairs when I was going down to get married. In front of everyone – my mom, dad, brothers, sister-in-law, nieces, X, X’s mom, X’s two kids, the photographer, they all saw. And we all laughed. It’s on video. When I watched it I was like, “Damn, I went DOWN!” In my mind I had only slipped a bit. Nope. I really ate it.

Friday was a complete blur. Seriously. There are definitely regrets and things I would do different, but honestly – I would hire a freaking videographer if I had this to do again. X and I felt like with a wedding of 30 people, that having a video camera in people’s faces all the time would be a hassle. They wouldn’t have a lot to film if they only had 30 people to rotate through. Plus it was around $2000 for the night and that just seemed like money wasted. Now? I really screwed that up. I would hire 20 videographers if I knew that the entire night would zip by me without me even realizing it. Barely ate, barely drank, and barely feel like I talked to anyone. I even forgot to dance with my dad. Please. I know. Don’t get me started. I cried the whole drive back to D.C. over this yesterday. My nieces were just loving the wedding, and my focus suddenly became on them, to the exclusion of almost everyone and everything else. Kids are really a time vortex.

Anyway, my photographer is working on the pictures, but she sent me her favorite.

She’s really good.


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.

A Sense of Expectation Hanging in the Air

I have new advice that anyone getting married (Shannon, Carrie, Carla – who already did this) should pay attention to:

Get. Two. Dresses.

No, I’m not kidding. Actually, my journey to ending up with two dresses was a weird one. To recap something I posted 2 months back, I ordered #1 too late, so got #2, an adequate but much less expensive substitute “just in case.” Well, #2 ended up coming in a few weeks ago, needed no alterations, and was shuttled to my parent’s house this past weekend where it has taken up current residence in my childhood bedroom closet.

While X and I were in the land of Gloom and Doom, I got a call from the sellers of dress #1 that it was ready to be picked up. X and I went over there because he had already seen #2, so I just figured let him see the first one and he can pick. We got there, they located my dress and put me in it. It’s 1 size larger than their sample size – which now fits by the way, like a glove and feels like a nightgown.

I put on the dress that was custom made for me, knowing it would be too big and would need alterations, however, I was unprepared for what happened next. Itch. Scratch. Itch. EEK! The level of lining closest to my body was forcing my thighs into some sort of tourniquet situation, they were begging for release, and everything below mid thigh broke out into full blown itchy madness.The nightgown feeling of the sample is in direct contrast to feeling like I’m rolling around in a sausage casing lined with sandpaper. Get. This. Off. My. Body. NOW.


I have no idea either. X and I sat there for 4 hours while they took the dress away, pressed all the layers, came back, tried it on, still itched, looked at the sample, figured out that the sample had thicker lining between my body and the tulle, then had to exit because the fire alarms went off, went back to the store, smelled burning rubber, hoped it was my dress so I could just get my money back and be done with it all, tried it on again, got stuck in it when the zipper jammed, had to slide out of it so they could fix the zipper, went out and sat with X who started planning how I should get my money back, then tried the dress on again, then it was itchier in the back of my thighs, then everyone said they didn’t know and I would have to come back tomorrow to talk to the manager. I’m making the manager try on the sample, then try on the dress that was made for me. And did I mention when you pick up the layers they are all shredded and tattered at the seams? THIS is a custom gown? Yikes.

As X and I sat there waiting for this to be figured out, I looked at him and said, “Considering this wedding is in 2 1/2 weeks, can you imagine how much I would be jumping off a ledge right now if I didn’t have a backup dress, safely nestled at my parents house?” It resulted in our having a conversation on how everyone should have a backup dress. Instead of blowing your whole budget on one dress, get a second one. It really helped me not lose my shit today.

X said, “Yeah, and we haven’t even discussed that black grease stain down the front of it.” Um. Yes.

Tomorrow I’m going to request that they keep the stained itch-factory,   clean and press the sample instead and give that to me.

And it makes me wonder – all these bridal salons try to convince you to not buy them from the ebay $100 sweat shops, but you know, considering the condition my dress was in, I’m not sure that I didn’t just overpay for something out of one of those very same factories.

What did we learn here today? Two. Dresses. You can always sell one.

Couldn’t Get It Right

Well, my mom has kicked into Mother-of-the-Bride mode. Woo hoo. Finally. Among other things, she told me that she was thinking to ask my brothers to make a toast at the wedding. I said, “You and Dad don’t want to do it?” She doesn’t want to speak in public. And my dad? Well, let’s just say that as children, we were so confused how the man who words failed on the regular could actually be a lawyer and argue, and win a case, that my brother went to watch him in court. He came home after and said, “Daddy is a totally different person in court. He’s not the Dad we know, who says ‘Velvet, it’s uh, time, uh, what’s this over here? Who left this here. Hey. Time for uh, dinner. Did anyone see my glasses?”

When my mom bestowed this news on my brother and added in that he needs to say something simple and nice, my brother responded with the following:

“I was thinking of doing a slideshow of all her ex-boyfriends and saying ‘Well, thank God THIS is over’ then slapping her on the ass and giving her a big wedgie in her dress.”

My mom was hilariously laughing. Camera pans to my dad.

With a totally straight face because the joke eluded him, he said, “Uh, I wouldn’t do that if I uh, were you. She uh, might get mad.”

That Frozen Concoction That Helps Me Hang On

X and I decided on a whim to leave town. We started discussing wedding, plans, and going away and realized that we weren’t going to be able to fit it in after the wedding. So we took the dogs and went to the Keys.

When I finished grad school several years ago, I found this place in the middle of nowhere in the Keys that allowed dogs and they could be off leash. I went down there and had the time of my life doing absolutely nothing. So X and I made arrangements to go back and while I was worried because there’s not a lot to do there and X needs constant entertainment, it was paradise. He loved it, I loved it, the dogs loved it. As we always do, we started talking about buying a place in the Keys and how nice it would be to live there. We always talk about that, wherever we go. Aah, if only money weren’t in the way.

The owner of the place came outside one night and we asked him to have a drink with us. He said he only drinks scotch. So X told him to go grab his scotch. He goes inside and comes back out, not with a little highball glass of scotch. No, that drunk comes back with a 16 ounce glass of scotch, filled to the top. No wonder he passed out on the patio every night and his wife had to drag him to bed! What a way to live.

I’ve had a lot of anxiety about getting married. It’s funny to get to a place where you finally feel ready and then, you get scared. I always said no one should get married before 35, but now, as I’m on the other side of that by 2 years, I think I’m revising my former sentiment. I think younger than 30 is still too young. But if you get married after 35, you’re set in your ways. It’s a difficult adjustment to think about consolidating households and merging lives. Not impossible – just an adjustment. Now I think that perfect window is somewhere between 30 and 35. At least for me I suppose.

We spent 2 days driving home and Sammy almost got himself molested at a rest stop. Some creepy guy got out of his car, had no shirt on, and had pants that were just hovering above his pubes on the front, and exposing full butt crack in the back. X said when I was walking the dogs the molester saw me and was just watching me with the dogs, and didn’t realize X was in the car behind him and that we were together. When we started walking back toward the car, the molester tried to get Sammy’s attention and I just knew that nosy little dog was going to go over and get all of us kidnapped and thrown in a basement somewhere. But that X. He saw it all unfolding, and jumped out of the car and shuffled me and the dogs in real quick. When we were driving off, we saw the molester had a security uniform in his car. Ugh. No telling what he’s up to.

X wanted to drive straight through to home, but I wanted to stop. Of course we picked the worst place to stop because there were like 3 family reunions in that town that weekend, so the hotels were all booked. We finally got a room in the far corner of a hotel, in the woods under a broken down billboard. It was scary. Of course, I have a low bar for what I find acceptable accommodations. This is honed from years of experience in the Velvet Family, where my dad made us stay at the most disgusting places you could ever imagine. I remember we stayed at this Thunderbird Motor Lodge once and my brother, the family elitist, was comatose for 3 days. This of course is the same brother who won’t eat at Denny’s, IHop, Waffle House, Huddle House or anything along those lines because they are dirty, gross, and have sticky syrup everywhere. He makes me laugh my ass off.

Because it was a bit scary, I slept with that “one-eye-open” thing. I felt like I couldn’t really relax, and questioned whether X was right and we should have just pushed onward to home. We woke up at 6 a.m to all this banging, and the stupid New Yorkers next door to us were leaving. We got to hear their entire conversation, as well as their door slamming over and over as they went in and out, packing the car. Just when it was almost over, and they were about to drive off, one of them had to take a shit, which he announced so loud they probably heard it up at the next exit. Shoot me. Really.

Anyway, here they are, my little muffins, doing what they do best. Lounging.



And, on the way home..



I Spent a Lifetime Looking for You

I actually went out last night and had a drink with the Hostess and the Photographer. I haven’t done that in, um, years. We went up to Marvin for a Dupont Underground event. Because I love all things Dupont, I am obsessed with seeing the space below the circle. There’s a growing movement of artists trying to get the space opened for the exhibition of area artists. I can’t think of a better idea of what to do with that space in all honesty. I understand that the former trolley station was made into an underground mall in the 90’s with various shops and places to eat, but that it was such a crime magnet that they shut it down. Maybe the time is right to reopen that puppy and show the world.

Anyway, you can read more here about the Underground, more about last night’s event here and more about sponsor and friend of the Hostess and the Photographer, Phillipa Hughes and Pinkline Project here.

Damn. It felt good to actually know about something going on in Dupont, I’ve been so far removed from D.C. and Dupont and so wrapped up in my own little life lately.

But that couldn’t last for long. I do have an interesting wedding   update for anyone who cares.

When I went in early April to buy my wedding dress, the sample size they had didn’t exactly zip up. In fact, it was about 2 inches away from zipping closed. Embarrassing. But then when they tell you the sample size is totally off from normal sizes, I felt better. A little. They recommended I buy two sizes higher. I said, “No. One size.” They were trying to tell me that “every bride promises to lose weight” and better safe than sorry. My stance was, “No way. If I’m going to drop these annoying 5 10 15 lbs, now is the time.”

I busted my ass in gear. I am totally not kidding. I stopped running since that was getting me nowhere but to injury fast, and started walking. Then when the Hostess found out I was walking 4 miles a day like a maniac all over Dupont, Georgetown and up those stupid Exorcist Stairs, she started coming with me. I think I logged 80 miles in each month – March, April and May. Then the Hostess and I started doing the stairs multiple times. My doctor said to cut to 1200 calories. I don’t really count calories, but I can pretty much bet I’m not going over that since I’m hungry all the time.

I had a meeting today in a building adjacent to where I bought my original #1 wedding dress choice. I have been considering what to do if the dress comes in and doesn’t fit and they have to take it out. So I ran in there to try on the sample size again to see how I’m progressing. I saw the lady who helped me was there by herself when I walked in, but her back was to me. I snuck over, found the dress and ran into the dressing room. If this thing wasn’t going to fit, and I was going to have a breakdown, I really wanted to do it alone.

I unzipped the dress, put it over my head and everything was all stuck. There were parts and layers in places they shouldn’t be and I was concerned that the dress didn’t feel any looser. Then I realized I had an entire layer bunched up in there, so I pulled that out and started zipping. That zipper went all the way to the top, AND, it was loose. Holy effing crap. How on earth did I do this? I got on the scale last week and knew I was down 8 lbs, but in what world is 8 lbs enough to drop you 2 dress sizes? I guess the bridal world. Now it seems like the dress I ordered will be too big. Huh.

I came out of the dressing room and ran over to the lady and called her name. She turned around and said, “VELVET!!! I WAS JUST THINKING ABOUT YOU LAST WEEK!” Couldn’t believe she remembered my name, I haven’t seen her except for that one day two months ago. She remembered everything about me. She’s good! I told her I lost 8 lbs and showed her the dress and she was shocked. She said everyone promises to lose weight and most brides can’t pull it off in time.

Please. I’m not “most brides!”

And that dress is downright gorgeous. I really made the right choice the first time.

Anyway, since I have room to spare, does anyone have a bag of Chips Ahoy or 30 cannolis they can lend me? Thanks.

I Can See Your Expression When the Phone Rings

Maybe it was a bad idea to let my parents pick the Justice of the Peace. It’s no secret that the Velvet family likes to shop for price.

This past weekend, X and I went to Connecticut to work on some more details. I’m not sure why I thought a “small” wedding of just family and a few friends would be any easier. Damn. You still have to do all the same crap, you just mail less invitations and make less place cards. Yes. Sigh. Place cards. X thought that since it’s such a small group we could let people decide where to sit. Um. No. Have you met my family? We need to make a very strategic plan on who sits where. If we can keep my sister-in-law in a different city from my mom, we’ll be in good shape. When I was first making phone calls for a venue, every Venue Manager said the same thing at first: Describe your perfect wedding.

“Oh, that’s easy. One where my mom doesn’t punch my sister-in-law and one where my dogs can be a part of it.”

This did make everyone laugh. I think they thought I was joking. I wasn’t.

We went to the town hall to apply for the marriage license. Lucky for me, my BFF from high school works there and did the whole thing for us on the spot. No waiting! No blood tests! No proof of X’s divorce! No charge! Thanks Divorcee!!!! (Funny, I know. Even funnier she changed her status on Facebook to “engaged” this morning.)

As she was filling out the license, her co-worker, sitting at a desk behind her, said, “Is Larry marrying you?” I said, “Um, yeah, I think that’s it.” She said, “You’re not getting married at the Motel 6* are you?” I said, “Uh, yes.” She starts shaking her head. “He called here the other day to see if you had applied for your license yet. He said someone called him and said his daughter was getting married and asked if he would perform the ceremony and he couldn’t remember your names, the location, the date or the time.”

X and I looked at each other and started laughing. Divorcee said this was sort of par for the course with this guy and suggested we keep calling him to remind him. Then she said we should plan to send someone to pick him up. Jesus. Christ. She told me stories about people we went to high school with who never picked up their marriage licenses and she had to run them over to their wedding. Fuck DC, I love small towns.

When we went back to my parents house we told them what happened with the JP. My dad called him right then and gave him the info all over again. He said that the JP lost the paper where he wrote everything down. Wow. Just, wow. I was like, “Um, Dad? We sort of need him.” He kept saying “Don’t worry, don’t worry.”

Yeah. I think we need a Plan B. I told X since we have zero connection to this JP and he might not even show up, maybe we should consider just finding a Greek Orthodox priest to marry us. X is working on that today. Yikes. The only problem is that Greek Orthodox weddings last like three days.

We did get a cake last week. Devils food with cannoli cream. Devils food cakes and cannolis are my two favorite desserts in the whole world, and whoever thought of putting them together is a god damned genius.   As opposed to us picking a JP name out of a hat, at least getting the cake at this bakery felt right. It’s from the same bakery where my mom got my cake for my baptism.

We’re down to 8 weeks people.

*I’m not really getting married at the Motel 6. I promise.**

**It’s Super 8.

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:

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!


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.)


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.




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.

Nobody Does It Half As Good As You, Baby You’re the Best

When I was in high school, I had an exceptionally lame midnight curfew. My parents really liked my boyfriend though, so they said he could come in and watch TV, but we had to be in by 12. Fine by me because this also meant we didn’t have to squeeze our loving into some cliche high school backseat of the GTO romp when it was 4 degrees outside. We could do it on the nice warm couch at my mom’s house.

She didn’t love that by the way. We had several near misses and several of her Catholic-like sobbing breakdowns before I finally got “the talk” and was instructed I couldn’t have sex in her house. Or something like that. I don’t know because I wasn’t really listening. I was plotting how to get craftier at actually having sex, and spent the rest of that relationship trying to avoid getting caught.

All the boyfriends who came and went after that and my mom never let any of them come into the house or, gasp, sleep over. Until X. We went up to Gloom and Doom’s house this past summer and they let us sleep – not only in my childhood room, in an upgraded (read: non-twin) bed, but together. I still wouldn’t let X touch me. At 36, those 17 year old days were still haunting me. The worst thing ever was to get caught having sex by one or both of my parents.

Friday night I went to X’s house and we went out to eat with Number 1 and Number 2. They were in their usual rare form, and camped out on the couch to play video games when we got home. So X and I, who had been having text-foreplay for most of the week, ran upstairs to do some work on my old desktop computer and fool around. We ended up ripping our clothes off and jumping into bed, but not   before Sammy wanted out and Thora wanted in and with the door opening and closing and dogs going in and out, we finally got down to business.

When it was all said and come (heh) I got up to see if Sammy was pacing outside the door waiting to be let back in. He wasn’t, so I crawled back into bed. X was like, “Did you lock the door?” I said, “No, I’m going to get up again in a second and call Sammy because I’m sure he’ll want to get back in.” The heat was roasting us like smores so we had all the covers off. Then I heard a scratch at the door and figured it was Sammy.

It wasn’t.

Number 1 busts the door open, says, “Hi. Um. Bye.” And takes off. Uh….

So, in case anyone is doing any math right now, I spent exactly 36 years and 3 months trying to avoid getting caught by my mom having sex until she finally decided to stop caring, now at 36 years and 9 months, I’m back to getting caught. By a 15 year old. Damn it. Six months is way too short a window.

The reason for Number 1 coming to the door was because Number 2, true to form, hit his head on something. X went up there to see how he was and give him some ice and he said, “Don’t touch me! Number 1 told me what you were doing! Wash your hands!”

When we were out on Saturday night, I said something to X like, “Where are we sleeping tonight?” And Number 1 made the air quotes and said, “sleeping” under his breath. Damn it to hell! Maybe he just wants to call my mom so they can listen in on my phone calls, and read my diary.

It’s Too Late To Turn Back Now

Thursday morning X and I arose with that anticipation I just can’t begin to describe. I knew he was nervous but he wouldn’t admit it. Shit, I was nervous. We pulled out the directions and began our drive west. I kept wondering what made us think this was a good idea – to go to a house with his birth mother (who we never met) and all his relatives (who we also never met) and spend Thanksgiving there, but whatever. I’d like to say here that X and I don’t really do anything half-assed, that we think everything out in full detail, but that would be a colossal lie.

(Note to X who is thinking, “What is she talking about? We don’t do anything half-assed!” Okay X. Think about all the conversations we have where you end them by saying, “Well, we’ll figure it out.” Honey. We NEVER figure it out. We just fly by the seat of our pants. Oh! Pants! Reminds me! Back to my story!)

So we’re driving out to the house and the directions just keep going. Turn on this road. Go 30 miles. Turn on this road. Go 10 miles. Turn on this road. Go north 2 miles. Turn on this. Another 35 miles. I think the piece of shit GPS is napping. It’s tired. And it likes to give very bad directions by the way. (“Turn left! Get in left lane! Oh, you’re in left lane? Kidding! Get back out there! You need to keep going straight! Fooled you! Dumbass!”)

As we get within 15 minutes of the house I had a sudden urge to chop and snort all my Klonopin. But I resisted. I did, however, desperately need a Diet Pepsi. We stopped at 7-11.

X and I went inside and I went to the bathroom. I came out, poured my soda, paid and we left. As we were putting on our seatbelts, X said, “So, what would be the worst thing to happen to me 10 minutes before pulling up to my birth mother’s house?”

“Um. I don’t know. I’m not sure I want to know.”

“Well, I somehow managed to get the after-pee leakage on my jeans.”


I looked at X’s crotch.

X said, rather calmly, “Well. No. I’m not kidding. So I tried to dry them under the dryer in the bathroom but then someone came in and it just looked like I was trying to fuck the dryer hole, so I left.”

“This wouldn’t happen to you if you learned how to wear underwear! Now what? You’ve waited all these years and we have to drive in circles waiting for your jeans to dry?”

People, I wish I was kidding, but no, I’m not. This is me and the love of my life. Half assed and wet crotched until the end.

This time I took a picture…


In all seriousness, when we pulled up to the house, I was just so proud of X – so proud he did this. Ok, must stop gushing because he’ll be grossed out and embarrassed by my gushing.

Anyway, I don’t think that the visit could have gone any better. Without going too far into any detail – they all knew about him, and they have all been looking for him for a while. But they were missing a key piece of information that X had – the name of the agency where he was placed. For a bunch of reasons, that information was never divulged to his birth mother because she went through a third party. So she didn’t know, and no one knew, and there you have it. They searched for him on the internet and didn’t get very far. Until now.

And so X has a whole family now, the bonus of which might I add? THEY’RE NOT GREEK! Oh my god, he’s out of the cult and he left me here alone!

His pants finally dried, by the way.

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!

Burn Out the Day, Burn Out the Night

True story.

Phone Call to X, today, 1:14 p.m.
X: Yellllllo?
V: Baby! What’s the best thing that could happen to me?
X: We got married.
V: NO!
X: You’re pregnant!
V: NO! Come on! A little less about “you” and a little more about “me!”
X: Napoleon got fired.
V: No….
X: Betty Ford got fired.
V: No…..
X: I don’t know.
V: Think more globally.
X: Um….

[answer after the next call]

Phone Call to Lily, in the Maternity Ward, 1:17 p.m.
V: Lily, what’s the best thing that could happen?
Lily: Bipolar Betty got fired.
V: No.
Lily: Well, that’s the best thing that could happen to me!
V: Come on! Why is no one getting this?


Unfortunately, the public servants of the ‘burbs are markedly more responsive than those of the District, and the fire was squelched before it got to my floor.   When I heard those alarms go off though, mama was out the door with all her goods in under 2 minutes. The only thing I left behind that was personal were two pairs of 6 year old Nine West boots.

See? It pays to clean out your desk!

Tomorrow’s task: fill all office fire extinguishers with kerosene.

There’s the Door, What’re You Waiting For?

Dear Lily:

Since your doctor decided to schedule you for a C-Section this Friday, and you aren’t coming back to work, here’s what you have missed.

Your “boss,” Bipolar Betty, sent the entire company an email that had links to some articles that were supposed to encourage us to contribute to the 401K. When I clicked the links to the articles, they both indicated that if one chose to contribute to a 401K, there is a new incentive that could put $2000 back in your pocket. Upon further reading, it is revealed that the income cap to enjoy the full benefit begins at $15,000 and is phased out at around $26,000. I’m sorry, but does anyone at our company make $26,000 or less? No? Not even the receptionist? Huh. Well then, I wonder why she would send this link to all of us.

Then for some reason, one of my bosses, decided to email the entire company a list of how not to get Swine Flu. This list included such nuggets like “Don’t touch your face,” and “Clean out your nasal cavity with a flushing system.” I believe it actually named products intended for this purpose.   This email, since it went to all of us, also went to Bipolar Betty. She in turn repackaged that puppy, and reforwarded it back to us all, with a disclaimer: “I received this from one of our employees.” Yeah. We know. We were ALL ON THE ORIGINAL EMAIL.

As X would say, Who is guarding the Brain Trust?

Then, lest you think you are were the only one working in the Rocket Science Lab, let me tell you about the last 5 minutes of MY day.

I received an email from aforementioned Swine Flu Emailing Boss, asking me “Why is there a rotating film strip on our website??? Velvet???? Do you know??? anything???? about?????? this????????????????”

You know, those question marks are very very accusatory.

I replied, to all, much as he set up the original email: “I’m not sure what you are talking about, however, if you are referring to the current web page, then please be advised that that is the original proof you approved about one year ago and it has been active on our site with no revisions since October, 2008.” I mean, if you’re going to imply I messed something up, and copy Jesus Christ, God and the Pope on it, you may want to check your facts.

I could get in to the drama you missed last week, where the accusations of “alcoholic” and “being drunk at work” were tossed in various directions, how one of my work friends is giving her notice tomorrow, but frankly, it is all too much for me. I have to take myself a clonnie and chase it with half a beer and get ready to face another day in that fucking zoo.

Three days till your son is born!


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