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Chapter XVII

because you never know someone from the very beginning

Month

August 2006

Just a Dinner

I made a dinner tonight for two friends.  It was simple, not requiring several days of preparation or anything like that.  I really enjoyed it.  I liked thinking about what to make, shopping, setting the table (using new wedding gifts was especially fun), chopping, prepping and creating.  Creating a welcoming atmosphere for others and thinking about pulling that together was a true joy.

It’s not often we get to sit with friends.  We talked about how we used to do this all the time, before some of us were coupled, before people moved, before there were kids.  Now our lives are much more dispersed.  I suppose this is inevitable but it made me sad.  We will always be busy.  There will always be work and obligations.  Are we supposing there will be more time in the future?  Not likely.  I guess it’s all about choices and trade-offs.  And of course I am a sucker for nostalgia, so of course I miss times passed even if times now are just as good in their own right.

But it is a nice reminder – a simple night with friends sitting around a table catching up, looking at pictures, talking about careers, a little reminiscing, a lot of listening to one another.  It was not so hard to pull that together and the reward (at least for me) was high.  Especially now that I am married (whoa…I have a new term defining ME) and not wanting that definition to restrict my life with friends.  People assume when you have vowed to be with someone forever that your spouse becomes your one and only confidant.  Not true, at least not in my case.  I still need my friends.  I still want them in my life regularly.  They were not just a stepping stone to this point, shoulders to cry on when another ass did not call, people to go hang at a bar with when you were really looking for someone else.  They were not and are not a means to an end.  They were and still are a destination in and of themselves. 

I hope I don’t lose site of that, and I hope they won’t either. 

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Hell Yeah!

Hellsyeah

Rock Paper Scissors…Dolphin Tuna Net

Do you ever feel like a dolphin stuck in a tuna net?  (Jerry Spinelli’s on-target phrase, not mine).

Just asking.

Something about Nothing

I failed zen.

I have been trying to focus all day on writing a memo that should take maybe, ummm, two hours to pull together.  I am now on hour eight.  Is this an A.D.D. problem?  Could it be that I have music playing in my office?  Perhaps the rain is the source of the problem.

Hell I have no idea.  All I know is that today I am not at my most productive.  So what am I thinking about?  Well let’s see, this is where the mind has traveled today…

– coffee…must have coffee

– interesting, a company helping people find their dream job

– my ipod is busted

– collaborative software in the classroom (the memo writing focus)

– pandora’s music service kind of sucks

– LONG PAUSE IN THINKING

– collaborative software in the classroom (the memo writing focus)

– what will I cook for dinner tonight?

– thai food might be good for lunch

– collaborative software in the classroom (the memo writing focus)

– I really need to focus

– what does erudite mean?

– collaborative software in the classroom (the memo writing focus)

– maybe we should move to Rhinebeck

– is this all there is?

– collaborative software in the classroom (the memo writing focus)

– if this is all there is, is that BAD?  I kind of like it actually.  Don’t be so damn negative.

– collaborative software in the classroom (the memo writing focus)

– maybe I should get up and go for a walk.

New List! My New Profession…

For any who have ridden with me in a car, it’s obvious I cannot sing and therefore, will never win a Grammy. However!  I have new hope for my music profession.  I have determined I should be a DJ. 

I am thrilled with this revelation.  What fun – late nights, partying until dawn, getting paid to play great music.  I am all over it.  The People (capital P) shall call me Lady Slim Shady.

Not that all of the music will be GOOD.  But it will be memorable and dancable.  Here is are a few songs to get started…get your playlist ready (if I were a truly advanced blogger, I would send this playlist our via Podcast.  But I am over 30 and therefore not a totally advanced user of the Internet.)

Hung Up (Madonna)

S.O.S. (Rihanna)

If I Can’t Have You (Saturday Night Fever)

Play That Funky Music (Wild Cherry)

Get Down On It (Kool & The Gang)

September (Earth, Wind & Fire)

Respect (Aretha Franklin)

Stayin’ Alive (Bee Gees)

Let’s Groove (Earth, Wind & Fire)

Shake Your Booty (KC and the Sunshine Band)

Boogie Shoes  (KC and the Sunshine Band)

That’s The Way I Like It (KC and the Sunshine Band)

Get Down Tonight (KC and the Sunshine Band)

Lay Down Sally (Eric Clapton)

ABC (Jackson Five)

One Way or Another (Blondie)

Best of My Love (The Emotions)

Mickey (Tony Basil)

Rock this Town (Stray Cats)

Hippy Chick (Soho)

Whip It (Devo)

Freedom (George Michael)

Take Me Home Country Road (John Denver)

Devil Goes Down to Georgia (Charlie Daniels Band)

Friends in Low Places (Garth Brooks)

Callin’ Baton Rouge (Garth Brooks)

Redneck Woman (Gretchen Wilson)

You Shook Me All Night Long  (ACDC)

I Got You ( I Feel Good) (James Brown)

Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough (Michael Jackson)

Beat It (Michael Jackson)

Love Like This (Faith Evans)

Hey Ladies (Beastie Boys)

Jump Around (House of Pain)

The Way You Move (Outkast)

Let Me Clear My Throat (DJ Kool)

Anything Can Happen (Wyclef)

Stayin’ Alive (Wyclef)

Hypotize (Notorious BIG)

Rapper’s Delight (Sugarhill Gang)

The Choice is Yours (Black Sheep)

Nothin’ (Noreaga)

It’s Tricky (Run DMC)

It’s Like That (MC Mario / Run DMC)

Since You’ve Been Gone (Kelly Clarkson)

Senorita (Justin Timberlake)

U Know What’s Up (Donnel Jones)

Get It On Tonite (Montell Jordan)

No More (Ruff Endz)

Vertigo (U2)

Sweet Child of Mine (Guns and Roses)

Livin’ On A Prayer (Bon Jovi)

Pour Some Sugar on Me (Def Lepard)

Extracurricular Activities

I need a new project, new goals, a renewed focus.  Now that the wedding is over (have I mentioned, the wedding is over?) I now have time outside of work to think about things other than dresses and pies and DJs, oh my!

Dear Scarlett, how WILL you keep busy?

Well this is how…I shall:

– Teach myself how to cook.  I am actually a pretty good cook, but I am ready to learn about more complicated, involved, time consuming, cooking.  I shall learn to REALLY cook.

– Teach myself to draw.  This will be an ongoing process, but I have in the past taken a class or two towards this end and really enjoyed them (though in one class I was the capitalist heathen among super liberal non-deodorant wearing art students…that was not so enjoyable).  I have a few books at home that teach drawing.  I shall learn to draw.

– Go apartment shopping.  As New Yorkers, we rent.  We have recently been thinking that the market is softening (please lord, PLEASE) and that we would like to live somewhere for at least five years, therefore, buying may be an option.

Of course, each of these can be broken into smaller projects (the wide scope of "learn to cook" is definitely a recipe for "it’ll never happen" disaster). 

I am a goal oriented person – let’s see how this goes.  On your mark, ready, set…

Yikes I am a STEREOTYPE!

Honesty moment.  I have gained weight!  Either that or my pants shrank…and I DO suck at laundry…

Nevermind that.  It’s official – I am a wife and I have let myself go – things are starting to poke out of here and there and there is a new roll around my waist that would definitely be a Glamour DON’T.

How has this happened?  Well, three weeks of eating pasta and cream and butter and foie gras (oh talk dirty to me!) not to mention drinking wine and more wine and perhaps a grappa for the lady, was a good start (darn honeymoon).  And I tell myself it’s hard for me to work out with a foot injury (mainly because I look like an ass in the gym wearing one shoe and an orthopedic boot).  And I had a fit test which was more like a fat test…25% body fat, thank you very much.

Excuse me, did you say 25%?

And, to add insult to injury, there is a 4 in my weight where there has never been a 4 before.  An intruder of sorts.  And no, I am not pregnant.  Someone told me "There is always swimming, you know."  Traiter.  Whose side are they on.

Fabulous.  Now I am to become a woman obsessed with her weight.  And women obsessed with their weight are such fun to be with!  This should be grand.

But I am determined.  I shall overcome!  Well, as soon as I finish this awesome french dip (I ordered the veggies instead of the fries…hey, it’s a start) and this glass of wine, I will start.

I need a program.  A goal.  I had a goal for the last year (remember "Oh on your wedding day, you need to look the best you have ever looked!"  Barf.).  Now I need a new one – a mission of sorts. 

Stay tuned.  It could be getting to the gym four times a week, it could be a half-marathon, it could be all of the above (notice I did not say "it could be a detox diet and no wine, and the butter is heading down the loo!  WEE doesn’t that sound FUN!").  I am not delusional, there is no way I am giving up eating.  But working out, that I can do.

Anyone Need A Mint?

Oh you gotta laugh.  I took a flight today from NYC to San Fran and was allowed to take a razor on board – in fact two! – but had to dump my mini-toothpaste. 

Apparently nobody cares that bad breath can be a deadly weapon.

I Know My Place

I am now  WIFE.  A married woman.  Since I have been married (less than two months) I have received lots of interesting questions such as:

– When are you having kids?  (not "if" but "when")

– Are you off the pill yet?

– What do you mean you aren’t taking folic acid pills?  Your child could have ISSUES you know.

– Are you moving to the suburbs?

– WHEN are you moving to the suburbs?

– Do you go out less?

– Do you think you will keep working? (I love this one – like when you get married you land under the magic money tree and cash just rains down on you like never before.)

And my personal favorite, "How are you settling into married life?". 

I don’t know what any of this really means, but I do find it amusing.  You get married, and all of a sudden your life is supposed to be completely different.  We have been together for six years – long time – and lived together for three of them.  I am sure there will be issues we confront that had we not married, we would not face.  And certainly, the addition of kids will mean big life changes.  But I cannot help but wonder, what DO people mean when they ask how I am settling into married life.  Then it occured to me – maybe I am doing it wrong!  I am failing at married life!  Dear god.  Well let me fix that right away! 

So off to Google I go and I find this:  from Housekeeping Monthly May 13, 1955, "The Good Wife’s Guide".  Hurrah!!!  A guide…take a look…

Goodwifes

The Good Wife’s Guide

"Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have be thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they get home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed.

Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.

Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.

Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Run a dustcloth over the tables.

During the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering to his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet.

Be happy to see him.

Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.

Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first – remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.

Don’t complain if he’s late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through at work.

Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or lie him down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.

Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.

Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.

A good wife always knows her place."

Well I think that says it all, don’t you?  🙂

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