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.

I’m Not Whinging

I promise. I’m really not.

Tonight, I was creeping through facebook, as I tend to do occasionally (because how else will I keep up with the people I don’t talk to) and I noticed that a friend’s little sister is engaged.

This is not to say that it’s not awesome for her, and I’m so happy that she’s happy; it’s just…

So I have these two girlfriends who have been my friends since probably before kindergarten. Somehow, twenty years later, we’re still best friends.

Growing up, our younger siblings were also friends. We each have a younger brother and those brothers are within a year of each other. One of us also has a younger sister, just slightly younger than her younger brother. She’s the one who just got engaged.

The other’s younger brother is engaged. My brother is quite seriously dating someone (who I actually love).

It’s just a matter of time before all the younger siblings are married………………………………………………………before I am. Ah God, I really, truly attempted to resist.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course. People find happiness and love at all walks of life and it shouldn’t be discounted nor compared.

It just hit me, I guess, as things tend to do: I’m kind of, like, alone.

And have been. For quite some time. Or at least two years. Over two years.

And it seemsseems, seems, like everyone else…. isn’t.

Alone, that is.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course.

I just don’t always think about it or notice it and then suddenly, everyone and their mother (literally, everyone and my mother) are engaged. Or married. Or pregnant. Or at least fucking someone.

Ahem.

Not whinging.

*makes hand gesture as if to say, ‘that’s final’ and kind of means it*

I’m always kind of on the fence, you know? Like, sometimes I’m desperate to be with someone and then other times I’m looking around at my apartment going, thank Christ I’m not with someone.

There’s a hell of a lot of mental and physical freedom that comes with being alone. Shall we say ‘independent’ from here on?

I mean, I can sleep til noon and stay up late and eat whenever I want and – wait, that’s the freedom that comes with being unemployed.

Um, so I mean, being single: I can sleep til noon and stay up late and I can spend two hours at the gym and only buy groceries for one and go to Starbucks without asking anyone’s order and – you know, this still sounds like unemployment.

I guess it’s just nice to do my own thing. Most of the time.

Then I see everyone around me dating/getting engaged/getting married/getting pregnant/buying houses/getting dogs and I think about how much I desire those things. I don’t need plural house(s), but everything else, yeah.

When I moved into my new apartment, I decided to get a king-sized bed and put my queen in the second bedroom. When I told dad I was getting a king bed, he was like, “expecting company?”
I was like,

But then I was like,

Sometimes I just wonder how the fuck I’ll ever meet someone if I don’t have a job or whatever; but maybe because I don’t have a job yet, I’m not meant to meet anyone…. yet?

I don’t know. Everything happens for a reason and everything happens when it’s meant, but man alive, I’m not getting any younger.

What I am getting is more fit. Did you know it’ll have been a month, Friday, that I’ve been working out and eating healthily? That’s somewhat of a milestone, I reckon.

Truth be told, I would like to be in some semblance of fitness before I meet ‘the one’ – it’d be ideal, anyway. So maybe once I’ve got that checked off the list…

I’m still ridiculously, if not stupidly, optimistic about my future. I have literally zero prospects (in the dating pool, anyway; jobwise might be another story), and yet I still find myself looking like that heart-eyed emoji. If I could bottle it, I’d sell it.

This whole post even ended up more positive than I had planned. ‘The fuck.

Wedding Dress Shopping With Mom

… for mom.

So admittedly, it may have been a tad awkward at first, you know, with the whole: “Are you looking for anything in particular?” “Yes, a wedding dress… for her *gestures to mom*” But I honestly can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard with her.

We started at Von Maur because they always have lovely formal gowns. We had the cutest little sales gal helping us and we tried on a TON of stuff. I tried on this gorgeous, and I mean stunningly gorgeous, slightly-mermaid, slightly-trumpeted navy lace overlaying cream gown, with a thick band of the navy lace right at my waist. Oh. It was. I mean. I could get married in this dress. If it wasn’t $310 and I had more than no fucking clue when I’d be getting married, I’d have bought it just for shits. But alas.

Mom did find a beautiful one-shoulder, kind of light-tan-ish gown with clusters of beads here and there; the top is a bit boucle or flouncy, whatever, and it looks wonderful on her. The only thing she’ll have to do is have it hemmed because she’s a shorty. (Which is exactly why the dress-that-would-be-my-wedding-dress didn’t really fit her and she then handed it over to me to try on, fitting perfectly and making me wish I ever had a place to wear it).

We had just gotten to Von Maur at 1130, and I think we’d found that dress (and a super cute black and white striped one that I loved) by noon or 1230, but we were like, surely there will be some good stuff at Younkers, JCPenney, David’s Bridal, Dillards, etc. So we put those on hold and went out into the mall.

After trying on a ton of shit, we decided that it was time food. Naturally, we got distracted by Teavana and bought some white peach tea. (Starbucks is using Teavana’s peach tea with their shaken green tea lemonades and oh my God, it’s the fucking shit, let me tell you. They also have a shaken blackberry mojito tea lemonade and yeah, fucking good). 

I don’t think we even tried anything on at JCPenney because they didn’t have shit. We ran across the street to David’s Bridal. Talk about a fucking downer of a shop. The ladies up front weren’t helpful, nor very courteous. They certainly didn’t have any customer service training, or just didn’t give a fuck. They had shit for choices. While mom tried on a few ‘party dresses’ (as she doesn’t want a wedding gown), I went browsing through the gowns. One of the gals walked up to me and asked if the dresses fit me okay. I was like, um, no, my mom is trying them on? (You know, the one whose wedding is coming up, like we said, you dumb bitch). “Oh… okay…” Then she proceeded to ask us if we’d registered the wedding there; mom was like, no, it’s going to be a non-traditional, fifteen minute (if that) ceremony, no flowers, no nothing, etc. “Oh, well, then you can’t try on any of the gowns.” AAAAAAAND that was that. 

In hindsight, maybe they weren’t too keen on us shopping there after we made fun of and laughed at almost all of their selection. At one point, we both went over to a not-so-bad dress hanging on the wall. Mom grabbed one side to get a better look, as I did the same on the other side. We pulled each side toward us, come to find this dress is like, size 40. It was draped in a way that made it look about a size six, so of course we were both quite shocked and had to walk away in different directions because we were crying laughing. I wish someone could have filmed that, it couldn’t have been scripted better.  

Fuck them.

Anyway, so from there, we went to Dillards at another mall and tried on a shitload of different shit while these two biddies kept after us. NOTHING fit right, or fit at all, and we were sharing a dressing room at this point, doubled over in laughter, mom cussing not-quite-so under her breath while getting stuck in almost every gown. Ah God. It was wonderfully painful. 

Discouraged and feeling fat, we migrated over to the Nike section and scooped up some forgiving sweats, yoga pants, and baggy t-shirts. The biddies laughed at us and we left.

Upon getting in the car, mom screamed. “IS IT REALLY FUCKING SEVEN PM?!” 

It really was. We’d been shopping for dresses since about noon and hadn’t bought not-a-one. Fuckin’ hell.

Back to Von Maur we went. Mom did one last sweep of the area while I scoped out the probably-gay pianist. Even so, I wondered if he was the type of musician to keep me up at night, wailing over the scribbled-out sheet music, pounding his fists on the ivories, or if he was just some random bloke off the street who saw the unattended baby grand as an opportunity to mislead young ladies. Another too-attractive young man walked in and collected the more-than-probably-gay pianist and they left together. Sigh.

We bought our held dresses and walked back out to a beginning thunderstorm. 

According to my phone, we walked about 2.5 miles today. My feet and legs are dead (especially after the elliptical, leg presses, and half mile of swimming last night). 

Day: Success. Of some sort, anyway.

Toward the end, I noticed mom getting more and more discouraged. She’s just had her gallbladder out, so she’s still a bit sore/stiff/bloated/etc and tends to carry her weight around her middle anyway. Normally, when I’m shopping, even with someone else, I’m alone in my dressing room, watching my own crestfallen expression in the shitty mirror. This time, I had to watch mom’s. It really broke my heart. This beautiful woman trying to find a non-wedding-dress wedding dress for her wedding coming up in a couple months, and not only were there not a ton of brilliant choices, but not a ton of flattering choices. 

‘If I could just get rid of this *holds belly*’ – I kept gently urging her, with suggestions for smaller portions or maybe take a half-hour walk every day. 

I mean, don’t I fuckin’ know it. I’ve always had birthing hips and thicker thighs and a bigger ass and lovehandles. I can hardly ever step into a dress, I almost always have to put it on over my head – I don’t care how full or heavy it is. She’s got narrow hips and thin legs, but struggles with her midsection. Also, like I said, she’s short, so she’s got a short torso, and that doesn’t always help with all these waist-emphasized pleated/belted/gathered/rouched gowns. 

I really hope she can slim down for her sake and happiness. She doesn’t have much to lose, but even trying to lose a little can seem almost impossible.

She did look so, so glamorous in the first dress – the one I ended up buying for her. If Tom wears a white dress shirt and a tan/cream vest, they’ll go perfectly together. Like they do anyway.

 

Existential Crisis #88

Actually, I’ve probably had quite a few more existential crises, but that was the first number to come to mind. 

I’ve made the decision, again, that I need to write every day. I found a tumblr with writing prompts that are less irritating than the ones I’d been doing previously. I couldn’t make it through February’s and March’s looked just as unappealing. 

But today is not that day. Tomorrow is that day. The day that I start doing that… again.

Today, I feel the need to write because I need to write. It’s been too long, but at the same time, I feel like I don’t have anything to talk about because nothing happens to me. 

Oh yeah, I last wrote about how I was starting to work out and I was super into it. I’m happy to report that that is still the case. I’ve been regularly working out since May 30th and I actually feel pretty fucking fantastic. I also started a product/program called Advocare. I came across Advocare on Pinterest when I saw a story by this woman named Terica Messmer (http://www.trimmedandtoned.com/weight-loss-inspiration-to-sculpted-bikini-competitor-terica-messmer-talks-with-tt). I was inspired and interested, so I went ahead and ordered it for myself. 

After creeping through her Instagram and other Advocare users’ Instagrams, I realized that this product/program seems to actually work for people. I also decided that even if it doesn’t, it will have gotten me to do cardio and strength training every day, as well as eating healthily. So either way, I was going to see a result. I’m all about that Placebo effect.

There is a 24 Day Challenge with Advocare which entails a ten-day cleanse and then a fourteen-day max phase (whatever that is). I started the challenge on June 9th and I’ve already seen results, both on the scale, in my body fat percentage, and even in the mirror a bit. I’ve been eating more than I was before all of this, just healthy stuff now. 

I’m actually a bit obsessed, as it happens. Or shall we say, dedicated. Or shall we even say, consumed. I used to hate all the shit about ‘oh, it’s a lifestyle change’ blah blah, but it’s so true. The funny thing is that I haven’t even craved fast food since I started all of this. I’ve opened up a can of Coke Zero only to forget about it and let it go flat/warm. To be honest, I’ve done that twice. 

I have been eating homemade wraps – tomato basil/wheat/spinach pesto tortilla, chicken breast (as in the Oscar Meyer carving board kind because I’m still super lazy), baby spinach, romaine lettuce, pepperjack/cheddar cheese, ranch dressing, and sometimes hot sauce. I usually put on too much lettuce and then I can’t fully wrap the tortilla around everything and it’s a sodding mess, but a delicious one. I’ll seriously have two of those a day because they’re so good. Otherwise, I’ll have a salad with tuna/salmon, or carrots and hummus, or steamed veggies with hot sauce. 

I’m drinking a ton of water. At least 64oz when I’m working out, but probably that much during the day anyway. I still get my shaken green tea lemonades from Starbucks. I haven’t even wanted/needed coffee. I seriously don’t have any cravings and it’s a bit scary. 

For Father’s Day, Conor and I took dad to Longhorn Steakhouse because it’s his favorite. I had peach tea instead of pop (HUGE for me lately), a 6oz filet with green beans, and didn’t even want the bread on the table. I’m sure my dad and brother were confused as all hell. Sure, we got Dairy Queen ice cream after, but it was Father’s Day. (Plus, I’d done a seven-mile run/walk just before dinner, so I think I was safe). 

I don’t know. It’s the damnedest thing. I’ve taken maybe three days off since May 30th. I only did abs on Saturday and hated it. Even though it was supposed to be my rest day. I don’t even want to take a rest day. 

For the first time in my life, I don’t want to be skinny, I want to be fit. I want definition in my arms, my shoulders, my back, my abs, my ass, my thighs, my calves. I want to be strong. I want a 5k to be easy – a quick workout I could squeeze into any day. I want to look how I feel. Also, I am dying to see my body that way. I’ve never seen it fit. I’ve never seen it really toned. 

It’s just time I took care of myself, so that’s what I’m doing. 

Like I said, I also need to get back into writing. And write every day. And write more of my novel. Yeah, I’m trying to do that, too. I’ve got about 11,000 words. I haven’t felt as creative lately. That’s part of my crisis. I’m seriously just obsessed with this new movement. But if I can take two hours to work out every day, I can take some time to do a daily writing prompt. 

 

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