Archive for the ‘me me me!’ Category

Memories from another life.

August 30, 2012

I woke up one morning recently with “Somebody that I used to know” already stuck in my head. I got ready for work while humming a few bars. In between cake orders I would sing a few lines. I would think of various memes on the internet with Gotye’s face on it and chuckle. And then I started to think about all the somebodies that I used to know. And I realized there are a lot more of them than I’d thought. Myself included.

Sometimes I’ll talk about things that happened when I was a teenager or younger and it always feels like I’m talking about somebody else. I’m not sure if this is a common feeling. I used to be so haunted and now I can’t even remember what my ghosts look like. You’re going to have to bear with me here, I have a point and I’m trying to make it but lately when I try to tie my various selves together, I don’t get the paper doll chain that I’d like to have. I usually end up with a pretty jumbled mess. I can’t decide what this means. Maybe it means that I just no longer know the person that I used to be. I feel so far removed from incidents, encounters, and occurrences of the past that most of the time I wonder if they ever really happened or if it was all a dream.

I remember a girl secretly holding hands with a boy in the back of a van. I remember a kiss that changed everything. It was late, in the girls living room, I’m pretty sure she was wearing pajamas. I remember a girl being secretly in love with a boy. I remember a girl being afraid to sleep in her own home. I remember a girl who stood in front of her mother to protect her from her stepfather. But I don’t remember being this girl. And it’s so strange. Some days this girl found it hard to even get out of bed for fear of what the day could bring. Some days that girl would go home from school early because she just couldn’t. On at least one occasion, the girl didn’t go to her after-school job because for whatever reason she just couldn’t stop crying. I remember a girl having a full blown panic attack while in the company of her friends. But I don’t remember being this girl. This girl? this frail pigeon of a person? She’s somebody that I used to know.

I don’t think about her very much anymore. She’s fading into nothing but words, photos, and memories. I’m sure I should be scared to lose her. She’s as much a part of me as anything else. But oh, how she reminds me of all that I wish I could forget. I look at her pictures, I remember her thoughts, I read her words, and I find it hard to believe that they were all once my own. I keep certain artifacts around for the sake of posterity. The Livejournal account, for one. I went back some time ago and read the remaining entries. So many had been deleted for various reasons. I realized it then, that I didn’t know the person who had written these words anymore. I felt such a disconnect, because I remember feeling the things I was writing about at the time, but I still couldn’t make a linear path.

I’m slowly realizing that I can’t keep trying to reopen closed chapters of my life. These chapters are centered around people who were once so important but are now strangers to me. The boy I held hands with in the van. The other boy that kissed me when I was in my pajamas. The man that kept me awake and the same man I protected my mother from. High school. Anxiety. Pain. Tears. I might still talk about these things, these people, these chapters, but I’m not that girl anymore. That girl is someone I used to know.

This entry has been surprisingly hard to write. I’ve been tossing around the general idea of it for a couple of weeks, but I’m finding it increasingly difficult to translate into comprehensive text. I guess sometimes it’s hard to put your ghosts to rest. And I suppose not everything has changed.

But I look at my life now, and everything is so vivid. So clear. So certain. I know which direction I’m going. I look toward the future and I know that it exists. I don’t dwell on the small things anymore. I know what it means to be happy. I’m not going through the motions. I’m the perfect counter to the girl I used to know. In fact, I now often forget that the girl and I are the very same person. She lives in the back of my mind, and in the small chambers of my heart. And I’m sure that who I am now and who I was then will meet in the chambers of the heart of the person I have yet to become.

Wordless Wednesday.

July 12, 2012

self-portrait.

Day Three.

November 2, 2010

I’ve sat here for a little while, with lucinda resting on my chest, trying to think of what i should write about for today’s prompt. Lu is very particular. She doesn’t like laying on flat surfaces, unless she’s knocked out cold. If she’s anywhere near being awake, she wants to be held, or cradled. Sometimes I can get away with her lounging in the boppy pillow but usually she just wants to be with me. So here I sit with her laying on my chest, resting on the remains of my baby belly. She has the hiccups and they won’t seem to let up. Soon enough it will be time for her to eat again, and if nothing else, that will ease the hiccups and put her to sleep for the night.

James wasn’t like this. James woke up, drank his bottle, burped like a champ, and went back to sleep. He didn’t mind being laid down on the floor, or the bassinet, or a car seat. I could lay him just about anywhere and he would sleep just fine. So I try to think about what is different, other than the obvious. I have the tendency to overthink things, in case you hadn’t noticed. James was born at 41 weeks, Lu at 39. James was nearly 9lbs, Lu was 7lbs 6oz. My diet was different with each of them. My starting weight was much different. I had more stress at work with Lu. When I’m not in overthinking mode, I realize that it boils down to that Lu is not James and that is that. Then I hope like hell she doesn’t develop colic.

But when i am stuck in overthinking mode, my mind wanders to ridiculous places. I start thinking that maybe the reason she is so clingy and so attached to me, is that after she was born, she wasn’t back in my arms until 8 hours later. Could have been a lot longer, but it should have been sooner. I waited to make the trip up to the nicu because I didn’t feel strong enough. I was physically and emotionally drained from her birth. Her birth went perfectly. I couldn’t have asked for a better team of doctors or a more comforting surrounding while still being in a hospital. I had tears in my eyes when I heard Lucinda’s cries for the first time. She was beautiful and she sounded great. A few minutes later, the doctor explained to me that Lu was having some minor respiratory issues but she was just fine. I thought to myself, of course she’s fine, can’t you hear her screaming? I was cheering myself on because I was doing pretty darn good. The spinal was making me itchy and I wanted to claw my eyes out but even that was miles above and beyond my experience with James. I wasn’t nauseated, I was calm and clear and relaxed. And then they brought Lu to see me. In an incubator. And I wanted to puke. I didn’t understand how she could be just fine if they put her in an incubator. They assured me that she was fine but was going to a separate nursery for closer observation. While I was in recovery, I fell asleep for about an hour. I woke up when the nurse came in to give me a shot of toradol. I asked her if she knew anything about my daughter and she didn’t. Robert came in and the first thing I asked is if she was really in a separate nursery or if she was in the nicu. She was in a level II nicu for observation for TTN. The fluid in her lungs didn’t absorb as quickly as it should so her breathing was rapid and shallow. She was mostly in the nicu because the regular nursery doesn’t allow IVs among other things. They didn’t want her to feed normally until her lungs had cleared for fear of aspiration.

In my postpartum room, i was feeling pretty weak and my nurses were concerned with my level of bleeding. My mom spoon fed me some jello because I was too weak to do it myself. When it was determined that I was not hemorrhaging, they gave me permission to go to the nicu to see Lucinda. But I couldn’t, yet. I could barely lift my head, how was I going to go to the nicu? They told me I could eat food again so I wanted to eat something substantial. I guess I wanted to give myself all the strength I could muster. From the time Lucinda was born, to the time I finally got to hold her in my arms for the first time, was 8 hours. It could have been worse. It could have been so much worse. But once again my expectations of the birth of my child were crushed.

When Lucinda was finally placed into my arms for the first time, It was like somebody flipped a switch. Lu’s breathing started to slow, and when she heard my voice, she cuddled into my chest. When I got to touch her hair and stroke her hands, my body began to wake up. It was the jolt we both needed. But I couldn’t stay long. My bleeding was still high and they wanted to monitor my levels pretty closely. I wasn’t able to make it back up to the nicu again that day and we spent another 16 hours apart. Early the next afternoon, she was given the green light to be released from the nicu. I wanted to hold her as much as possible. I nearly always had her in my arms. I didn’t want to waste any more time. So, sometimes I think the reason she’s so clingy to me is because we spent so much time apart. And when my mind wanders to those places, I can’t help but feel an excessive amount of guilt. Guilt that i didn’t fight harder to see her sooner. Guilt that even when I was allowed to see her, I chose to eat instead. Guilt that I didn’t demand to spend as much time in nicu as possible, no matter how pain I felt. Guilt that she was in the nicu alone while Robert and my mother were with me. It might sound like it was all beyond my control, considering how much I was bleeding, but I wonder if I could have fought harder. And I have to forgive myself not only for not fighting harder, but for staying up at night wondering what, if anything, I could have done differently.

But then I lightly rest my cheek on the top of her head. And I smell the baby shampoo in her hair. I can hear her tiny breaths and snorts, and even her hiccups. I can feel her little hands clutched to my worn out t-shirt. And I know that even if there was something I could have done differently, the end justified the means. I have a beautiful, healthy, baby girl who likes to cling to her mommy. And I forgive myself for ever thinking there was anything wrong with that.

Day 02 → Something you love about yourself.

October 30, 2010

Alright.

So basically I wanted to balance out yesterdays schmaltzy, all-over-the-place, too long; didn’t read, you-need-an-editor post with something a little more thought out and ‘light-hearted’.

And here is what I have come up with.

My hair.

I love my hair.

It’s been a journey, my hair and I. A long, thick, and luxurious journey. I wish I had photos of all the stupid shit I’ve done to my hair. Where do I even begin? I’ll start about halfway through the ninth grade. A good friend of mine had discovered the secret to dying your hair with kool-aid. At the time it seemed like a huge feat, okay? Whatever. You boil some water, add the powder, and submerge your hair for 5-10 minutes. It was going to be super awesome. I went with cherry red, she went with purple. Purple didn’t work. Cherry red worked well. Too well. It looked pretty badass for about a week. I only dyed the bottom half of my hair so it kind of looked like my hair was on fire. Little did I know I may as well have set my hair on fire for all the damage I caused. After the first week, the color faded to a sickly orange shade. I bought a box of dark hair dye to re-color my whole head. It didn’t work.

I take that back. It worked on my natural hair color, but the sickly orange shade still shone right on through.

So I tried lemon juice.

That made it worse. I can’t even describe to you.

Finally I was left with no alternative but to cut all that stupid shit off. Problem was, I knew cutting all my hair off would not suit me at all. I ended up being left with some orange in my hair. Not as much, mind you, but in the months that followed, that 1.5 inches of orange hair served as a cautionary tale to all who may have thought coloring your hair with kool-aid was a good idea.

Eventually I got rid of the rest of that orange hair and I continued to dye my hair all throughout high school. Sometimes I had help, sometimes I didn’t. The time I wanted to go blonde was a good example of a time I should have asked for help. No, I wasn’t left with orange hair again, but the crown of my head was much lighter than the rest of my hair, and thus I was a walking brassy angel.

At some point I decided I wanted long hair for graduation. So I grew it out. And out. and out. By graduation, my hair was nearly to my big fat behind. As seen here.

I felt really pretty that day. I’m just sayin.

The day after graduation, I went and got my hair cut just a little past my shoulders. I kinda cried. A lot.

Soon after my 20th birthday, My hair was still about the same length but I wanted to do something different. A friend of mine was going through beauty college and I decided to get her to put some blond highlights in my hair. I guess she hadn’t realized just how thick my hair was because as soon as she put her hands through it, she looked worried. And rightfully so. She ended up needing two people to help her because my hair was bleaching faster than she could keep up with. So my hair started looking less highlighted and more…well. Blonde.
Photobucket
there were sections of my hair that were near white from the bleach. Destroyed my hair yet again.

Over time the color faded, but one day I went to get my hair cut (months later) and I decided to just completely recolor it. The stylist only colored the blond sections of my hair but she matched my natural color perfectly. Absolutely perfect. And since then? I have not messed with my hair color.

When I started losing weight two years ago, My hair was growing longer and the smaller I got, the more awesome my hair looked. I lovingly referred to it as my “mermaid” hair. It was my pride and joy. Except I also had an infant son. Who liked to pull on my hair. Which meant my hair was usually tied back. But when I got to wear it down, I think I would strut instead of walk.

A few months later, I did the unthinkable.

I cut it all off.

I *still* regret doing that. I had no earthly idea what to do with hair that short so I ended up looking like Carol Brady most of the time. Robert will defend my short hair to the death, stating it was my fault for not taking the time to learn how to style it, and maybe that’s true. But my hair is now once again down past my shoulders and I like it that way. I love it that way.

Me and my hair. It’s been a journey. A sometimes short but mostly long journey.

On that note, I need a salon day. Who’s buyin?

30 Days of Truth & Day One.

October 29, 2010

So here are the prompts for the next 30 days:

Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself.
Day 02 → Something you love about yourself.
Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 → What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

———————————————————
Day One: Something You Hate About Yourself.

I’ve come back and forth to this text entry box about half a dozen times since Monday and I have just sat here staring at the blinking cursor trying to decide what to say. I didn’t know what to say. I’ve truthfully spent a lot of time and effort into learning how to love myself. I admit that I’m afraid to zero my focus on anything because I would take a long time to blur the line back out. There are certainly changes I wish to make but I wouldn’t necessarily say I hate anything about myself.

It’s taken me a very long time to reach this frame of mind, and I’m not gonna lie, it’s relieving and difficult all at the same time. I learned a long time ago that happiness is something you have to pursue, to fight for, to grab for and hold on tight. You have to make the conscious effort to be happy. It’s easy to surrender. It’s easy to give in. Some days I want to give in more than anything. I want to let the flood of everything wash over me and take me away. But I don’t. I try to take my delight in as small doses as may be necessary. I suppose it’s a “count your blessings” sort of attitude to take which I used to find dreadfully annoying and I’m quite certain some of you may be rolling your eyes as you read this. But I’ve learned that in order to really have happiness in my life, I have to assert myself and steal myself from the jumping off point of melancholy.

And it’s to that end that I’ve come to realize in order for my own emotional health and sanity, I very rarely put myself out there. Which is why this meme will prove to be somewhat of a challenge for me. I take it back, if there were to be one thing I dislike about myself (I don’t want to use the word hate), it is that I feel socially unfulfilled in my offline life and yet I still don’t feel motivated to put myself out there. I’ve spent so much time learning how to like myself, I’ve actually become even more afraid of rejection. And I don’t like that. I think it’s a huge punchline. When I was a teen and I was struggling with depression and rejection from both my peers and on the home front, I found my attitude to be so much more blase. I don’t know if it was due to facing rejection from the second I opened my eyes in the morning til the moment I closed them at night, but all the while, it was okay because I was rejecting myself too. Now that I’ve come to terms with who I am and have learned to love myself, I feel unprepared to handle the possibility that anyone new who may come into my life could reject me. I’m actually afraid it would tear me apart. And that’s what I don’t like. I don’t like that I’m afraid.

This was kind of a stream of consciousness entry and I realize it’s all over the place but that was pretty much the only way I was ever gonna get this done.

How I Married Myself.

May 20, 2010

I’ve realized that these little chapters of my relationship with Rob leading up to our marriage could, in theory, go on forever. While I’m sure some of you would totally love that, I admit that the task seems overwhelming and daunting. Maybe at some point I’ll revisit the day I decided that I should be the one to change countries, or the day I was almost not let into the country, or the anxiety attack I gave myself over the prospect of telling his family that we were getting married.

But today I’m just going to write about a theme I tried to make apparent all the way through the series and give you the reason I titled it the way that I did…(in case you hadn’t pieced it together…and that’s okay, not everyone thinks like me.)

Before I turned 18, I never thought that much of myself. Ever. When others thought highly of me, I always questioned their motives. I couldn’t understand how anybody could possibly like somebody like me if I didn’t even like myself. I was goofy and awkward, inarticulate, unattractive and my concept of my self worth was constantly in the shitter. But when I was at home, alone, I would lay in bed and imagine myself an ugly duckling. As cheesy as it sounds, I was waiting for the day I would wake up a swan. One day I realized, that wasn’t going to just happen overnight. I had to learn how to love myself. If I couldn’t even love myself, how could I expect others to love me? A few things clicked in my brain and I realized that the only person who could help me was, well, me.

I started coming to terms with many things about myself. I was goofy and awkward because I had been so used to being by myself that I didn’t know how to be around others. I was inarticulate because I didn’t know what I was feeling and how can I articulate something I didn’t even understand? I was unattractive because I’d made myself believe that. And my self worth? It was okay to like myself. I had to come to grips with that. And that was probably the hardest thing I had to change. After so many years of self pity and self loathing, I had to turn all that around and start fighting. I realized that the reason I had allowed myself to be so down for all those years is because it was easy. It was so easy to surrender myself to the pessimism of life. In order for me to be happy, I had to fight. And that’s a scary thing.

It became much easier when I met Robert. I didn’t realize it then, but he was helping me become a better person in more ways than one. The day that I realized that Robert and I had so much in common we were practically the same person shook me to the core. I am totally, 100% head over heels in love with this man who is exactly. like. me. But if I could love somebody who was exactly like me, doesn’t that mean I can love myself? Isn’t that what that means? I spend a lot of time reflecting on how our relationship came to be, and even though it seems nothing more than a random series of events, I can’t see it that way. I probably will never see it that way. I thank God every day for the way my life has gone in the last six years. You see, when I was in my bedroom with the music on and the lights out, I was imagining a better life between the tears. I imagined one day becoming a mother, something I’d wanted to be for as long as I could remember. I imagined having a family of my own. I imagined slow dancing with my husband in the kitchen. I imagined happiness. The kicker here, is that so far, all of it has been infinitely better than I imagined.

I am married to a man who is completely perfect for me in every way imaginable. He makes me feel beautiful and worthy and giddy with excitement. Five years gone and I still can’t wait to see him when he gets home from work. Maybe we don’t dance in the kitchen as much as I would like, but we have something better.

We have a 2 year old son that amazes us every day. And soon we will have a beautiful baby girl.

It’s not my fault I’m a total bitch, really.

May 14, 2010

So since I’ve been in preparation for becoming a mother of two (re: knocked up), it’s been brought to my attention (more than once) that I’ve been too unreasonable to even speak to. Apparently I’ve been flying off the handle over stuff that doesn’t even deserve a minute amount of irritability.

It’s like I’m in that Adam Sandler movie (that I didn’t see) Anger Management. Except here’s the thing, I know I’m being a butt. I know I’m being completely irrational and moody and unpredictable and flighty. Does that mean I can do something about it? Unfortunately no. And here’s why.

I’m freaking pregnant.

I can’t take mood stabilizers.

I am required to cut back on my caffeine intake.

I can’t sleep at night.
(and when I do sleep, I have weird dreams about sushi and my husband trying to kill someone with an exacto blade…true story)

So even though I know I’m being a total bitch, there is shit all I can do about it. Except eat chocolate and ice cream. And french fries. And nachos. and that works temporarily, or at least until the gas sets in. By then, the feel-good vibes tend to wear off.

The thing is, if I try to hold in my bitchiness and mood swings, it just makes it even worse. It makes me more likely to blow up over some completely insignificant thing.

For example. Which seems more unreasonable to you?

Me: I would like a medium iced vanilla latte please.
barista: Would you like decaf?
Me: ….No *rolls eyes when barista’s back is turned*

OR

me: I would like a medium iced vanilla latte please.
barista: UM DO YOU WANT DECAF?
me: OMFG STOP ASKING ME THAT *breaks glass and throws chairs around*

You don’t want that shit happening, I promise.

As tacky as you may think it is to blame the baby, I’m totally playing that card here. And let me tell you why. Because come October, I’ll be on maternity leave and you won’t have to deal with me AT ALL for three months (unless you know me online then HELLO ASHLEIGH OVERLOAD). Not only that, but if this baby is half as cute as James, peanut will be able to get away with things Dexter Morgan could only dream of.

Speaking of Dexter, I’m totally having Dexter and Rita related nightmares. Still. I think this is a problem.

I digress.

The point here is that I know that I’m being completely unreasonable from time to time but sometimes I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOUR TOLERANCE LEVEL IS FOR UNREASONABLE PREGNANT LADIES! It really is okay to say to me “Uh, Ashleigh. Calm down. It’s her job to ask you if you want decaf. She wasn’t calling you a bad mom.” It really is okay to tell me “Ashleigh, stop crying. I’ll answer the phone for once.” It’s even more okay to tell me “Ashleigh I totally understand that you can do very little to control how you’re feeling now, but I’d like to help by giving you chocolate/a massage/a day off.” But please, don’t try to get into a bitch fight with a pregnant lady. Especially when there are chairs around.

I think I was trying to go for laughs here, but the saddest part is that most of this is completely serious.

But I wouldn’t actually throw a chair at anybody. My back hurts too much.

What are some natural ways you try to de-stress? Clearly I could use some advice here 🙂

Thirteen (short and sweet)

May 11, 2010

After Niagara Falls we spent another two nights in Toronto and then two nights in NYC. We enjoyed ourselves and had a good time in both places. Then we started the long drive back to Saskatchewan. We discovered a chain of restaurants called Perkins that we started to seek out whenever we were hungry. We have fond memories of Perkins. Our last morning before arriving home, we were in Winnipeg. We were talking in bed about the last two weeks and how amazing it all was and how neither of us really wanted the amazing-ness to end.

And that’s when somebody said “So why don’t we just get married?” And the other said “That sounds like a great idea…wait, are you serious?”
“I’m serious if you’re serious.”
“I’m serious.”
“So am I.”
“So let’s get married.”
“Let’s get married.”

To this day, we still don’t remember who started that part of the conversation, but it doesn’t matter.

Now when we arrived home, I would have something very interesting to tell my mother. But I was far from worried. In fact, I think I was floating 6 inches off of the ground for the rest of the day. I wanted to marry him, but more importantly, he wanted to marry me. And even if this proposal wasn’t completely serious (that is to say, he did want to marry me, but he wanted to wait a little while) it didn’t really matter all that much to me. I knew that everything was going to be alright.

My mom was happy for us. She later approached Robert with two different family rings to offer us. He selected one, we had it sized and strengthened, and two weeks later it was on my finger.

We were serious.

Twelve.

May 11, 2010

The next two weeks were a flurry of getting everything prepared for our road trip. Confirming hotel reservations. Arranging a car rental. Making list after list of places to go, people to see, and food to bring.

And I wasn’t nervous at all.

The man I’d slowly started to fantasize about being married to and I were going to be in a car together for two weeks. I was sure it would make us or break us. I mean, come on, being in that close quarters with anyone for an extended period of time can make you go crazy. I’m going to truncate the story of this road trip a little bit because most of the details are inconsequential.

The first interesting thing to happen was when we tried to cross the border for the first time. I think the agents didn’t really know what to make of us. Neither of us had passports, at the time you didn’t need them to cross between Canada and the US. Robert is 8 years older than I am. He is from Texas, I from Saskatchewan, in a rental car. I probably would have been suspicious too, if we’re being honest here. We were pulled into secondary questioning where two agents (a man and a woman) proceeded to comb through our car looking for, oh, I don’t know, produce. I got into a spat with the man because he didn’t believe it was at all possible for someone who works at a fast food restaurant to get two weeks off of work and CLEARLY I am lying and I am not planning on going back to Saskatchewan, let alone back to work. He asked me for the telephone number of my workplace and I gave it to him. He went and toyed around on his little computer when the woman came up and asked me if Robert was my boyfriend. I admitted that he was and we really were just taking a vacation together. We eventually were let go. When we stopped in Grand Forks to fill up on gas, I called my mom to see if anyone had called. And they did. And I am so glad somebody honest answered the phone, because they could have totally screwed me.

We got horribly lost in Minneapolis and Chicago. We nearly ran out of gas in Cleveland after midnight (I’m sorry, but that shit was scary), and then we made it to Niagara Falls where we would spent two nights. When we checked in to our hotel, they’d overbooked the non-smoking rooms so we were upgraded to a suite with a jacuzzi and a fireplace for no extra charge. Niagara Falls was a really beautiful time in our relationship. Those two days completely sold me on the idea of marrying Robert. When I was with this man, everything in my life was right and beautiful. I had a religious experience while we were on the Maid of the Mist, beneath the falls. It was a beautiful and sunny day, I was in a beautiful place, and Robert was standing behind me with his arms around me. Everything in my life that had gone wrong completely dissolved from my psyche. God was showing me how glorious life really is. I started to cry with happiness but with the mist on my face, nobody could tell. I should mention how we got our Maid of the Mist tickets. We didn’t pay for them. We were walking across the plaza, looking for the ticket booth when we were approached by an older man and his wife from Oklahoma. They introduced themselves to us and offered us a pair of tickets. As it turns out, a friend of their family runs the boats and had sent them 6 tickets but there were only four of them altogether. Instead of fighting over who gets to go twice, they decided to give the tickets to “some young couple in love”.

I can’t make this stuff up.

We stood near these perfect strangers in line, on deck, and when we exited the dock, Jim and his wife said Goodbye and God Bless.

And we were so blessed.

We’d officially been a couple for four months at this point. We went back to our hotel, got a little dressed up and went out for dinner. We went back to our room and we made love.

It was a perfect day.

I sit here and I retell this story and it seems like the kind of things that would appear in a movie script or a romance novel. The kind of thing that if it hadn’t actually happened to me would make me roll my eyes and think “oh, COME ON.” But when I close my eyes and I think back to that day, I can’t help but to lose my breath and get a big stupid grin on my face.

eleven

April 9, 2010

To this day I still can’t believe they pulled it off.

Here I was, at work, and the love of my life walks in. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. So I did both. I formally introduced him to my friends, my mom, and my co-workers. Turns out Robert said absolutely nothing on the way over. My shy guy. I turned around and found out Twyla was secretly filming the whole thing. And yes, plans proceeded to be made for the evening, although they seemed to have been planned beforehand anyway. We went to Cathleen’s house for a bbq. As it turns out, I was having another birthday party. Cake and all.

Unlike previous entries where I’ve been able to recall every feeling I had, this one has been different. I was so deliriously happy and surprised at the whole thing that every time I looked at him sitting there in my room, or in my friend’s car, or at the kitchen table, I had to do a double take. I’m still not entirely convinced I didn’t dream the whole thing. It seemed too… corny. Too cheesy. Too good to be true. So this time, all I really remember are moments. In no particular order…

I remember sitting on a park bench at night, looking up at the stars.
I remember teaching him how to dance under the streetlights.
Singing In The Aeroplane Over The Sea as we walked hand in hand by the riverbank
Arguing about orange juice. (which we still do)
Making funny faces in all the pictures taken of us.
Cooking brunch and almost burning the bacon
Sleeping beside him in my bed when he “accidentally” fell asleep in my bed. (Sorry mom, it wasn’t an accident.)
Introducing him to my grandma.
The feeling that I’d finally gotten something right in my life.
Not wanting to let go of him when it was time for him to leave again.
The way he murmured in my ear that he loved me and he would be back in two weeks.

And I was okay.

But my bed sure seemed lonely that night.

Two weeks… Two weeks… Two weeks…

I could handle two weeks. I handled 19 years. I could handle two weeks.

At least now I had more than one photo of us together.

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(May 29th, 2005)