Less Ice, More Bucket

(Excuse the awkward yelling – that damn boxer is so loud!)
My ALS Ice Bucket Challenge with gratuitous slo-mo. I nominated Maren Jensen, Melanie Bird, Paul McCartney, and Warren Buffett – because friends, why the hell not, and Omaha.
I’m also going to donate $100 on http://www.alsa.org/ because they’ve gotten a ridiculous amount of money in such a short time and I want to continue that.
Thanks to Mary Nagel for filming and Conor for going through the difficult task of dumping a ton of ice water onto his sister’s head – your sacrifice was for a good cause.
Keep giving and keep freezing.

And thanks to Nora Shanno for the nomination :)

Six Degrees of Separation? Child’s Play

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Recently- not that this is anything novel or previously unexperienced, but- recently, and I mean, just this month, I’ve met or run into complete strangers who know all the same people I do. The fact that we’re still strangers is, frankly, odd.

Case #1: I am invited to a bachelorette party weekend at a cabin about fortyfive minutes west of Omaha. I know the bride and the bride’s best friend, and then there are six other girls I’ve never met. Upon arriving, two of the strangers (who aren’t strangers anymore, d’awwwwwww) are challenging each other. “I’ve got THE most hideous dress to show you.” “No, I have the most hideous dress to show you.” In the end, of course, it turned out to be the same dress on the same gal. 

Now, yeah, okay, that’s funny and ha-ha small world, BUT THERE’S MORE.

I want to see this hideous dress, naturally, so the laptop is turned toward me. Oh, hey, I know the guy in that photo. 

“How do you know him?” I went to pre-school and high school with him. 

“Well, I went to St Phil’s with him.” Well, I played soccer for St Phil’s.

“Then you must know _____.” Yep.

“And ______.” Yep.

(and so on).

I think at the end of that little discover, I’d learnt that we all had so many friends in common that it was a miracle that we’d not met before.

I took that opportunity to warn everyone: don’t talk shit about anyone at all ever because clearly, he or she will end up being someone’s brother or cousin or neighbor or postman.

Case #2: Went out to the bar and Kona for a friend’s birthday. This time I knew everyone, as they were all previous co-workers. Then another person shows up and one of my friends says, “Oh, I think you guys have a mutual friend.” I was like, “besides all of y’all?” (God, I’m funny). After raucous laughter, the stranger goes, “Yeah, Melanie?” 

I just looked at her.

“So, no?”

Um, no, the look is because I have literally known her my entire life and I’ll be in her wedding next year. (Different wedding).

“Oh! Well, I played softball with her for (however many) years!” And now this stranger (but not anymore, D’AWW) works for my former employer.

Weird. 

But, WAIT.

After our favorite bar, we popped over to Kona (because food) and we were talking about my friend’s birthday. All of a sudden, this guy slightly behind me goes, “Oh, who’s birthday is it?” Hers. “Ah, how old are you?” (First of all, wrong direction). She says: Guess. (Annnnnd there’s the trap). “Um, 31?” 

Shots fired.

Yeah, I’m 29, thanks. “Oh! I’m sorry, well, I’m 41, so I’m way old!” Yeah, right, let me see your ID.

(He gets out ID) How do you say your last name? “Like it’s spelled.” (Why haven’t I ever used that approach? Oh wait, because Friis).

She pronounces it quite Frenchly and he says, “no, it’s-” and without looking at the ID, I say it correctly.

“How’d you do that?” Well, do you have a younger brother named Justin who went to North?

“OMG YES! How did you know that?”

FFS.

Case #3: Not as strong of a case, I grant you, but still enough to be like, JFC. Talking to my friend who I’ve actually never met, but you know, it’s one of those social media things that I love; anyway, he asks me if I listen to 105.9 ever. I’m thinking, I didn’t know 105.9 was nationally syndicated (this friend lives in CA). 

“Oh, well, my friend, a comedian, just told me that he was on the 105.9 morning program this morning… in Omaha!”

Needless to say, I wasn’t up early enough for the morning program, but I googled this comedian and he happens to be coming to the Funny Bone just down the street in November.

I just know that when I go see his show and I tell him that we’ve got a mutual friend, he’ll say, “what a small world!”

 

Yes, A Second Time

 

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Back when the Beatles were touring the US, they came to St Louis, Missouri. Dad thought, “surely, they’ll come closer – at least to Kansas City,” but they didn’t. And then they broke up. 

When Sir Paul’s Back in the US tour came through Omaha in 2005, we were dying to go. I’ll always remember being in class, seeing that I had a voicemail from mom. I dialed it up and cradled my phone in my arms with my head down. I had to keep from crying right there in class as I listened to mom breathlessly announce, “Happy Birthday, Nina! Oh my God, I got them; I got the tickets! We’re going to see Paul McCartney!”

Tickets sold out in something like eight minutes. 

 

When Paul McCartney announced he would be coming to Lincoln, Nebraska this year, there was literally no thinking-about-it to be done: I was going.

Furthermore, my dad was going. 

I was in Australia when I got the notice about tickets being on sale. I had to tell the girls to pause our Game of Thrones marathon because there was something I had to take care of. I think it was about 1 or 2am there.

There were some VIP tickets and some levels of ‘special’ tickets and I knew I was going to spend a hell of a lot of money, but I was prepared. 

Right away, the VIP tickets were sold out. I mean, within seconds. I hurriedly put two of the Gold Package tickets in my basket and then thought, shit, I should see about two normal tickets just in case, so I threw those in the basket, too.

Near $2000 later, I had four tickets. The concert was shortly after mom’s birthday, so I figured she and her fiancée could go. 

I called dad right away, knowing it was about 10am at home. “Dad, did you get the tickets?” He said, “Shit! I’m not even home, I totally forgot.” 

“Well, I guess you’ll have to settle for my main floor tickets then.” 

In true Dad fashion, he replied: “I mean, if I have to, I guess those will be okay.”

Then I called mom and asked her if she got tickets. “No! They sold out too quickly!”

“Well, I’m sorry, but you’ll be getting tickets for your birthday.”

“WHAT?!”

Trying not to cry right now with the memory. Ahem.

(See, I’ve been putting this off because it makes me so damn emotional). 

—-

Fast-forward to the night of the concert. And hand me another tissue.

Dad drove over to my place and we hopped in my MINI to head to Lincoln. I can’t even remember what all we talked about, except when someone almost sideswiped us in front of the gas station. I let loose a string of “fucking motherfucker”s and “cunt sonsofbitches” and dad just cracked up. Upon pulling out of the gas station, I said, “ugh, let’s just get out of here!” Dad: “You mean, get the FUCK out of here!”

Conor says he can always tell when dad’s been around me because his cussing game is too strong. *bows*

We get to Lincoln and I’m about to ask dad just where the Pinnacle Bank Arena is when this massive, shining, 2001:-A-Space-Odyssey-lookin’ building appears out of nowhere. The exterior actually reminded me of the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. 

We found the parking lot (after being cut off by some douche bag in an Eclipse, who then rolled up his windows when dad and I started loudly mocking him – holy shit, we’re a bad influence on each other), which was only about a five minute walk from the arena. 

The arena itself had really adorable British decorations going on out front. There was a street sign that said “Abbey Road” and a red phone booth with Union Jacks all over it. There were also tons of people. 

Dad and I are forty-two years apart. There were some folks younger than me and some folks older than dad. It was the most obvious display of the absolute reach the Beatles have had. And continue to have. Talk about timeless.

Anyway, after some selfies with the phone booth and tour banner, we got inside. Dad didn’t know exactly where we were sitting. He saw the tickets said ‘Main Floor’ but they also said ‘Sec 51′ which sounds like it could be anywhere. I led him ’round to the floor entrance and tried very hard not to get stopped by any helpers because I didn’t want them to give away just where we were sitting.

On the floor, there were about six or seven different sections, and we were directed to walk up the middle. We would get to a section and I’d turn around to dad and muse, “mmm, no, a bit farther, I think.” 

Finally, we got to our section. Our seats were 1 and 2, right on the end, and we were row MM. I didn’t count, but I’m going to assume that as M is the thirteenth letter in the alphabet, we were thirteen rows from the stage. 

Dad just kind of looked at me in disbelief as we sat down, and then shook my hand. :)

Mom and Tom wandered up and found us – they were on the main floor, also, just a few sections back. They were so excited; it was adorable.

I think by the time the lights went down, I was already tearing up. (I told you, I’m seriously emotional about this. I’ve been waiting for a day where I’ve got no makeup to ruin because I knew I would cry just typing this shit up). 

I said to dad, “it hasn’t hit me yet that we’re seeing Paul McCartney.” 

Dad: “Paul FUCKING McCartney.”

I was in a bit of shock when he first came out on stage. The same thing happened in 2005. It’s just the “holy shit, that’s Paul McCartney, that’s one of The Beatles; he’s about to sing and play music, live, right here, and I’m here, and he’s there, and I’m going to hear and see him sing and play music, but not just any music, music he wrote for The Beatles, music he wrote for Wings, music he wrote solo, music I’ve been listening to my entire life, music dad has been listening to almost his entire life, and we’re here together, to hear Paul McCartney – PAUL. MCCARTNEY. – sing and play, sing those songs he wrote, play that iconic Höfner bass, play that colorful upright piano, oh my God,” you know, that whole thing.

He wore a Husker red blazer at first. It reminded me so much of Tom Osborne. I wonder if he met Coach. I wonder if Coach is a fan. I know he hung out with Warren Buffett in Omaha the night before the concert. Just up town from where I was drinking. If only I knew. I mean, seriously, the two of them got ice cream and sat on a park bench. Ridiculousness. 

Anyway. Since I’m on the topic of the Huskers and all-around Nebraska awesomeness, during some of Sir Paul’s little talk-to-the-audience breaks, he said some things that I swear I’ll never unhear: “Go Big Red!” “There is no place like Nebraska!” “Go Huskers!”

Now, I know he tailors all talk-to-the-audience breaks appropriately, but in that moment, all he cared about was us. For a lifelong Husker fan as well, hearing one of my heroes say those things… Like I said, I’ll never unhear them. Dad and I looked at each other, and the shock and awe that were written all over his face, well, I think we both could have died happily right then.

It sounds utterly ridiculous and dramatic, I’m sure, but it was everything.

I can’t remember every song he played. I took about a thousand photos and as many videos as I could get away with: Let Me Roll It (which went into Foxy Lady by Hendrix), I’ve Just Seen A Face, And I Love Her, Something (played on ukulele as a tribute to George), Back in the USSR, LIVE AND LET DIE (caps added for the fucking unbelievable amount of pyrotechnics used), Hey Jude (oh my God, they did the bassline from the ‘Love’ version and it was positively glorious), he and the band came out with a US flag, UK flag, Nebraska flag, and a Blackshirts flag (Go Huskers!), Hi Hi Hi, Saw Her Standing There, Golden Slumbers medley (started on the piano and then came out for the three-leads bit). I got some audio, also: Blackbird, Here Today (as a tribute to John), All Together Now, Lovely Rita, Let It Be.

All Together Now was fantastic and hysterical. When it was over, he said, “That was one of my more sophisticated songs.”

After Blackbird, he asked how many people had tried to learn that on guitar. Most people cheered (myself and dad, included). And then: “No one did it right. Only I can.” The cheeky bastard.

He told some funny stories.

I guess Jimi Hendrix opened a show with some Sgt Peppers songs, but in using his whammy bar, he threw his guitar out of tune right away. He stopped and asked if Eric Clapton was in the audience to help tune his guitar. Eric WAS in the audience and said, ‘tune your own guitar, man!’

He talked to Warren Buffett about playing ukulele, because I guess Warren plays. He said he’s pretty good!

When he met with the Russian dignitaries back in the day, one of them told Paul, “First album I ever buy was Beatles album.” Then, “I learn English from Beatles album. Hello, goodbye.” Paul: “It’s true!”

He was a total hamball. Always goofing off and posing and definitely not acting his age. He never took a break, he never took a drink of water; he hit every single high note; he just never faltered. 

I think I sat down once – when everyone else sat – otherwise, I could not keep still. 

There were about 19,000 people in the arena, I think? People were so. well-behaved. I wouldn’t expect anything less from the people of the Midwest, but damn, no one was a drunken jackass, people stayed in their seats for the most part, we sang along, we brought out our lighters/cell phones for Let it Be, we really gave him our full attention. Then again, he commands it, doesn’t he? 

When he played a couple songs from his newest album, he said, “You know, I can tell when people like the song because I see the cell phones come up. [everyone laughed] We can tell, we can tell.” 

The crazy thing was when he played ‘New’ from his New album. I have a clear memory of walking Embankment in London last year, I was actually just outside Embankment station and making my way toward a tourist trap to see if I could find something for a friend. My iPod had died and for the sake of space, I had maybe four songs on my iPhone: New was one of them. It was the first time I’d heard it and it just fit my mood, the weather, where I was, everything, so well. 

And here I was, back home, hearing it live from the man himself. Funny how things work.

I’m just glad the people in front of me didn’t turn around too often. I didn’t wear mascara on my lower lashes because I knew I’d be sobbing most of the time. I probably looked a sight anyway.

Oh man, his encores, though. He came back for three encores. I can’t remember exactly what he played for each one, but at this point, it had been like two and a half hours. Most bands come back for one encore and do like, one hard song and one acoustic song because they’re tired AF. 

Not Paul. He played a few songs each time, and I’m not talking Blackbird (although he did play that as part of one encore, technically), this dude came back out and played high bpm songs like Saw Her Standing There, songs with a high degree of technical or vocal difficulty like Helter Skelter; I mean, the man did not phone it in. 

And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.

At The End, he said, “we’ll see you next time!”

I’m gonna hold you to that, Paul. 

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Is There a Civil War Re-enactment I Didn’t Know About?

Is There a Civil War Re-enactment I Didn’t Know About?

And why wasn’t I invited?

Is it the Fourth of Jul- no. It’s only the second.

And yet, I hear artillery shells and blackcats. 

Come to think of it, I’ve been hearing and seeing loads of fireworks for… hmm, going on two weeks now. 

My phone, calendar, laptop, and any bank with a marquee can’t all be wrong. 

I mean, it’s still not Independence Day.

It just isn’t.

I’m sure a lot of Americans (who am I kidding, no one reads this tripe) are rolling up their sleeves, revealing bald eagle tattoos right about now, but hear me out:

IT JUST ISN’T THE FUCKING FOURTH OF JULY YET.

I have video on my phone of a brilliant fireworks display that I could see from the comfort of my apartment. Know what the date is on that video? JUNE FUCKING TWENTIETH.

Like… seriously. That’s jumping the gun QUITE a bit. 

And I know, I know. There are family get-togethers and timing isn’t always the best where everyone can be around and there are folks who can shell out $100k on some boomers for their summer block party and there are kids who found the sparklers and smoke bombs in the garage and Lord knows those aren’t enough to appease, so mom and dad said, yeah, let’s just get our shit out of the way early and just a plethora of ‘reasons’ and reasons one might decide to not wait until the actual Fourth of July.

Which is a Friday this year, by the way.

It falls perfectly for the first time since 2008 (I checked). You likely don’t have work the next day, you get the whole goddamn weekend to leave burns on the driveway and make sure there won’t be a mosquito for ten square miles. 

AND YET. 

Sigh.

Look, I know this sounds very unpatriotic and bah humbug and commie, but lend me your imaginations for a second:

Think back to when you were a kid, or even probably last year when people actually were patient enough to wait until the Fourth. Okay, just think back to when you were a kid: 

If you were like me and my family, and most families in our neighborhood, and most families in Omaha, I’d reckon, we would drive to Fort Calhoun or wherever, stock up on blackcats and roman candles and those fucking snakes that make a mess and those little tanks that shoot fire out of their asses and what mom would call ‘screaming mee-mees’ and just all sorts of shit. My brother and I would see them in the mud room or the garage, just waiting to be used. Usually, we’d talk dad into letting us light all the pointless smoke bombs and probably most of the bottle rockets in the days leading up to the Fourth, but the Fourth was when it all went down. 

We’d have some family over and set up lawn chairs and when the kids were old enough, we’d get to light the fireworks, hearing everyone shouting “run, run, run!” as soon as they saw the sparks from the fuse, airing as much confidence as possible while still having that bit of panic in the back of your mind like, what if I don’t get away in time, what if it looks like a dud and I go up to try to re-light it and it blows up in my face?

The smell of sulfur or whatever so strongly in the air (which I secretly love) and knowing that bug spray would not be necessary that night and probably the night after. 

Most importantly: hearing the booms and seeing the flashes of light from down the street and across the ravine and even across the highway, because those people shelled out for theirs. Just knowing that tonight was the night of magic and oohing and ahhing. 

This year, and I swear it’s not because I’m a curmudgeonly quarter-lifer, I find myself getting more and more frustrated when every. single. night. there are at least fifteen families within eyesight lighting off their fireworks. 

I love fireworks. I think they’re a marvel. I think they’re beautiful. Fireworks shows (especially those set to music) make me cry. I love the blue ones and I love the gold ones that pop open and then the ends fizzle and crack and look like glitter. I always wish I could stand under one as it rains down beauty upon me, but I know I’ll catch flame. 

Would you open all your Christmas gifts on December 1st? Do you have Thanksgiving dinner on some random ass Tuesday? How about for Halloween: Do you go trick-or-treating on the 26th? Which is my birthday, by the way, so don’t do that.

And I know, I know, like I said, family things and timing and getting everyone together when you can is tough – especially when we get older and have our own schedules and whatever. I get it. I really do.

It’s just that I want it all at once. And I want everyone to wait so that it’s that much bigger, that much better, that much louder, that much brighter. I want to stand on my porch this Friday and see the night sky completely filled with color. I want the bursts to reflect off of my tear-soaked cheeks. I want to be breathless with the sheer enormity of celebration. 

Because that’s what the Fourth of July is all about, to me. Being overwhelmed. We’re proud to be American every day of the year, but on Independence Day, it’s all five senses. 

Drabble

She stumbled stiff-legged into her bathroom. 

“Fuuuuuuuuuuck,” she thought. She knew she was done-for.

Carefully, she peeled her damp tank top off of her abdomen and went to raise her arms.

She hissed in pain as her damaged skin creased in on itself. 

After a few breaths, she decided that getting it over with quickly would be the best option. 

Three more preparatory breaths and she straightened out her arms over her head, pulling free the clinging top.

“Motherfucker!” She sighed in relief once she could let her arms back down at her sides.

Slowly reaching behind her back, she groped for the string that would undo her bikini. 

Drops of water were wrung out as she pulled it free. 

She sighed again at the release of strain on her neck. 

Leaving the other strings tied, she lowered her head to remove the swim suit completely.

Now she could see the extent of the burn.

It looked like she was wearing a pale skin-toned bikini top that just happened to have nipples in the design. 

Everywhere else, where her normal skin-tone should be, she was pink as a valentine.

“Lovely,” she thought. 

Gingerly, she pivoted and twisted to take a look at her back.

“At least I’ll tan evenly.”

She looked up at the cupboard above the toilet; she knew it housed some aloe. 

Sweet, cool bliss was within arm’s reach and yet it meant stretching and bending her hot, tender skin.

“It’ll be worth it. It’s necessary.”

She strategized. Would a quick, well-maneuvered retrieval be best? Should she painstakingly move millimeter by millimeter to avoid the flash of agony?

“Fuck it.” Quick it was.

She shot her left hand up and grasped the door handle, gritting her teeth through the sudden onslaught of fire within her shoulder. Her right hand moved simultaneously into the cupboard as the left hand pulled it open, grabbing the tube of aloe like a frog’s tongue catching a fly.

She let both arms drop back to her sides, making sure to throw the brakes on at the last second so that they didn’t collide into her equally-lava-like thighs. 

The pain was completely ignored now as she flipped the cap open. 

The gel felt wonderfully cold in her hand as she squeezed out a generous glob.

She spread it between her hands, but was careful not to warm it up with too much friction. 

Wasting no time, she ran her right hand up her forearm from her wrist to her shoulder, twisting her left arm on her right hand’s way back down to the wrist. She did the same to her right arm, then made sure both arms and shoulders were totally covered. 

The aloe seemed to work instantly. 

Now that she had better motion of her arms, she made work of smoothing the gel from her chest to the top of her shorts, down her sides, and as much of her lower back as she could manage.

She didn’t even want to think about bending over to apply the gel to her legs. 

After getting another squeeze of aloe in her palm, she gave some to the other palm and reached up and over her shoulders to do her trapezius muscles; then crossed both arms in front to get her latissimus. 

Her arms would only go so far, however, and she could not get the middle of her back.

As it happens, that’s where it was most painful.

She scanned her messy countertop for something, anything that she could use. 

She wished she had one of those back-scratcher things her grandma always had. She could flip it over and use the smooth side…

Maybe she could use a spatula or something..

Then her eyes landed on a silicone erection.

She bit her bottom lip as she mentally worked out the logistics. 

Yep, it was long enough to reach.

She chuckled incredulously to herself and figured this was the best way.

Picking up the dildo in one hand and the aloe in the other, she squirted the aloe on the glans and about an inch of the shaft. 

In full-fledged fits of laughter now, she used a finger to spread the aloe evenly before gripping the end of the toy.

Shaking her head, she turned to see her back in the mirror, raising her right arm (and the dildo) over her head.

The cock was the perfect size, well, length, for the job and she was able to sufficiently coat her sunburnt back with the cooling gel.

Still laughing, but proud of her resourcefulness, she turned on the tap to wash away the excess.

“That was satisfying,” she told the dildo, as she wanked washed it off under the water.

Wedding Dress Shopping with Mom, Part II

It seems that mom and I both suffer from “what-if-there’s-something-better-out-there,” which led to Round Two of the dress hunt. Now, she still has that first dress that looked the best, fit her the best, fits the wedding the best, flatters her figure the best, and, I think, makes her the most youthful. Nevertheless, she compiled a list of about eight more places to try. This time, we also didn’t have all goddamn day.

I dropped my MINI off at the body shop to get my BAKER STREET BONNET STRIPES applied. I’m sorry, did I shout? I’ll repeat myself more quietly then: Baker Street bonnet stripes. The same bonnet stripes I had on my Baker Street Edition MINI Cooper. The one that got totaled and so savagely taken away from me. Yeah, that one. Yeah, those stripes. On my British Racing Green Clubman. Sigh. When I was answered in the affirmative after asking whether I could order those, I about cried at the parts counter. I also needed a door ding taken care of – I’d gotten that while parked at my old apartment place, go figure, while I still had the In-Transits on, go figure. Fucking pissed me off.

Anyway, I dropped my car off and mom picked me up for our second dress adventure. We decided to stop at Regency first, as it’s right across the street from MINI. To be honest, I’m not quite sure why we went into Regency Court, as there is only one bridal boutique and it only has wedding gowns. There was a place called Tilly’s (I think) that had a whole bunch of matronly evening gowns and a few matronly women working there. No one greeted us, even when I smiled and waved at one of them, it took about fifteen minutes for anyone to come over to us, and at that point, I was already inching out the door. You know what, for having such boring, gawdy, and downright hideous clothing, you sure are pretentious old bats.

Whatever. I had to look at something beautiful after that, so I dragged mom into the bridal boutique. I gushed over the gowns while mom talked to the woman at the counter. She asked who was getting married and we told her. I continued to gush over the gowns as I said, well, having even a potential boyfriend at this point would at least warrant me being in here. I’m not sure how it started, but all of a sudden, I was catching every other word this woman was saying: “My son…. single… says all his friends are married… he wants to get married so badly… wants kids… wants a house… wants a dog… he’s 34… civil engineer…” With each descriptor, I felt my ovaries contract. “Is 26 too young for him?” I asked, hopefully. “Oh, I’m sure not!” She replied cheerfully. Mom, doing her duty, said jokingly, “Maybe you should leave your number, Nina” “hahaha” we all laughed.

But seriously. My ring finger was burning.

After maybe one additional comment about how PERHAPS THERE SHOULD BE SOME ACTUAL MATCHMAKING IN PROGRESS, we kind of just went about the conversation and then eventually left.

I almost asked if her son had an English accent, because that’s my biggest requirement, obviously. I’m sure he doesn’t, so I can’t be too disappointed. But that doesn’t stop me from wondering why this mother didn’t feel me out for her son. I mean, isn’t that what mothers do? She seems like the good-naturedly-meddling type. So meddle already.

But maybe there’s something about me she didn’t like. I was charming, made her laugh; sure, I might have been looking at wedding dresses when I don’t even have a boyfriend, but it sounds like this dude is ready to tie the knot.

Then again, she did say something odd. She said something about telling him, “well, maybe you’re not husband material” or some shit. Slightly strange, even in jest, to mention.

I don’t know.

It was an emotional moment.

Then we had more emotional moments at a couple bridal shops – their 10s are more like 6s, so of course that made mom feel like shit. “I’d just have to cut the tag out.” Finally, I got her into a taffeta number that cinched up in the back (I’d just watched Pride & Prejudice, so I was in the mood to sew up a corset). It fit her like a glove, as it would, and if it wasn’t so hot/dressy, I’d have gone with that one for her.

The fact remained that the very first dress, the dress I bought her, was the one.

Trust your instincts.

Perhaps the same should be acknowledged regarding the non-meddling mother.

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