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Thursday, May 26, 2005

For the Graduates...

In honor of high school graduation coming up for lots of 18 year olds all over the country, a local radio station was doing this bit this morning where they listed the top 5 things they wished someone had told them when they graduated from high school.

Here is my top 5 list:

  1. I wish someone had told me (and I had understood) how lucky I was to be so young and have so many opportunities ahead of me. Honestly, at the time of your graduation from high school, you literally have the option of doing ANYTHING with your life, the possibilities are endless. Nothing is holding you back but yourself. There’s no full time job, or children, or mortgage keeping you from devoting 100% of your time to searching for what will make your future a happy and successful one. The world is just waiting on you to make your mark, and you alone get to choose how you’re going to make it.
  2. I wish someone had told me to see as much of the world as possible while I can. College is the absolute perfect time to travel, but I didn’t do it. Will I ever again get the chance to spend four months in Spain? Not likely. Now there’s a job to think about, a boss who most likely will not be too keen on allowing me to take an extended leave to backpack through Europe for a few months, and a husband who is counting on me for my portion of income to help pay the bills.
  3. I wish someone had told me how quickly life moves, and that it’s important to remember to take a moment, once in a while, to take it all in, and appreciate it for what it is, a beautiful, but short journey. Maybe then, I would have taken advantage of every minute I had with my amazing friends in college, remembering to savor every single moment of laughter and joy. Maybe then I wouldn’t have gone to visit my boyfriend in the cities so many of those last weekends we all had together. I was so in love, that I let myself forget how important the people I was living with were to me, and how much I cherished their friendship. I should have realized that Dan and I were going to spend the rest of our lives together, but my time with these wonderful women was fleeting.
  4. I wish someone would have told me television is in no way representative of reality. In real life you don’t sit in a coffee shop for hours upon hours with your friends on a daily basis, just like you can’t afford a huge New York apartment on the salaries of a waitress and an often-out-of-work chef. In real life you don’t buy a new dress for every date or special occasion (or a new pair of $400 Manolos for that matter), and there is not enough time or money to meet your girlfriends for lunch every day as well as for every club opening.
  5. I wish someone would have told me that a very large portion of your waking life will be spent at work, so choose something that you LOVE to do, because you’re going to be doing a lot of it, for a very very long time.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Pity Party

Yesterday when I wrote about my anniversary I didn’t think I would be writing again until after Sunday, but seriously, you have GOT to hear about my morning. It was the worst one in a really long time.

I have to give you a little back story so you can understand the hell that was this AM. So yesterday my parents went to Chicago to pick up my brother from college for the summer, and they asked Dan and I if we would watch their dog Sheba while they were gone until late tonight (Friday). This is a pretty common occurrence as my parents go out of town all the time (they worship the ground my two brothers walk on, and hence, travel great distances to see them in every single concert, play, and soccer game that they possibly can). Well, ever since we got our own dog, having Sheba over is not the simple favor that it once was. Combine her senility and geriatric issues with the spastic energy radiating from our four month old pup, and it’s a recipe for disaster. Bella literally runs in frantic circles around our little house taunting Sheba, while Sheba stands there and tries to convince her that she is not to be messed with, growling and showing her teeth every time Bella so much as goes near her fuzzy tail. Poor little Bella just wants to play, and poor old Sheba just wants to lie down and sleep. Last night, as you can imagine, was exhausting. When it was time for bed, we had our plan laid out. Last time Sheba was over, we put her and her little bed in our room and shut the door, but she kept us and Bella up barking to get out for more than an hour. This time, we thought, we would just put her bed out in the living room and let her do her thing, and hopefully she wouldn’t mess with Bella, whose kennel is in the adjacent dining room.

Of course Bella’s whole night was a little “off”, and she didn’t understand why this mean old dog got to wander around while she was locked in her kennel for the night, so she whined a little more than usual when we put her into bed. Cut to 3:15 AM, when all hell broke loose. I wake up to Sheba crying and scratching at our bedroom door (this is all on one floor, mind you, our bedroom is adjacent to the living room, which is adjacent to the dining room). I tried to ignore her, but after about 15 minutes, I couldn’t stand it anymore. So I went out there, and she walked to the door to be let out. I tried to be as sneaky as humanly possible, because I desperately did not want to disturb little Bella. Sheba acted like a little biyatch, of course, and wouldn’t come back in when I called her, causing me to make more of a ruckus than I had hoped, and thus stirring Bella from her sweet puppy dreams. She predictably started to bark and cry and just generally freak out. So I got Sheba in as soon as possible, shut the door, and went back to bed, hoping Bella would fall back asleep. Cut to 4:30 AM and Bella is still continuing to go absolutely crazy in her kennel, shaking it, scraping at the little metal gate, and crying, crying, crying. Every time Bella would stop crying, Sheba would start barking, seriously the little bitch was egging her on! I thought my head was going to explode, I was so tired and wanted to get to sleep so badly, but it was literally impossible. Finally Dan and I both stormed out of the bedroom, and took both of them outside. When we brought them back in, we put Bella back in her kennel and Sheba in our room, with the door CLOSED. Cut to 4:55 AM and Bella is still crying, Sheba is wandering around our room (click, click, click go her nails on the wood floor), whining and barking in between Bella’s whining and barking. Dan got up twice I think to seriously curse Sheba out and pick her up and place her in her bed. Around that time we finally got to sleep, only to get up 45 minutes later for work.

Cut to me, exhausted, dragging myself into the shower. Dan is on his way out the door, but looks to check on Sheba outside, who has wandered to the neighbor’s back yard. More cursing out of Sheba from Dan, and he was out of there. I got out of the shower to find Bella running circles around Sheba again, but I tried to get ready as best I could, while at the same time keeping an eye on both dogs. It was almost time for me to leave, but I was rushing around getting Sheba’s things together so I could just drop her off at my parents house on the way to work, that way the two of them didn’t have to deal with each other all day alone. I was running about 15 minutes later than I had hoped, and took Bella out one last time before I was to leave. Well, in my frantic rush, I wasn’t paying much attention and walked right through a puddle of pee on the kitchen floor, getting both my bare foot and the bottom of my pants soaked full of stinky ass dog pee. Grrross. So I cleaned it up, washed off my foot, changed my pants and took the damn dog out. I finally get out the door trying to juggle Sheba’s food and bowls and stupid bed with my purse and makeup (which I was going to try to do in the car). I get outside and of course it’s raining, and I don’t even have a jacket, let alone an umbrella. I load the dog and all her crap into my car and realize I left my stupid office badge on my dresser. So it’s back out in the rain I go, running through the house with my wet shoes. When I finally got out of there, and to my parents house, Sheba had obviously decided that my morning had not been difficult enough, because she was busy running into the street and chasing cars instead of listening to my pleading with her to come inside. When I finally got to work, I was soaking wet, my hair was a ball of frizz, and the bottoms of my too-long pants were sopping from trekking through the wet grass after the dog. I am a mess. I’ve never been so happy its Friday before.

Oh, and yes, we will be telling my parents that Sheba is not allowed any more over-nights at our house, because we require more than 4 hours of sleep.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

A little story

It was in high school during my Junior year that one of my best friends Angela started going out with this guy, and we all sort of hung out together in a big group of friends. In October (I think) of our Senior year Angela and her boyfriend broke up, and if I remember correctly, she was pretty devastated. A month or two after the breakup was about the time that I started to become Crazy Stupid Alicia, because it was then that I decided it would be a great idea to develop a little bit of a crush on my best friend’s ex-boyfriend. I hardly remember how the events took place, but somehow I think it started with us having secret conversations through email and note-passing, which led to me finding out that he also had quite a crush on me. So being the na├»ve and self-absorbed girl that I was, I agreed to go on a date with him. Now mind you, I did not go out on dates with boys. I was scared of boys - - terrified actually. I had no idea what to say to them when we were alone, and I even wrote down notes of things that I could talk to them about if for some reason one decided to call me. I was great in big groups, and would laugh and giggle with my friends, flirt like there’s no tomorrow. But get me alone with a boy, and I became mute girl. So I think I surprised myself the most when I agreed to go out with Angela’s ex-boyfriend. Not only was I breaking girl code, but I was going completely against character.

I didn’t tell anyone about it except my mom, who has no concept of girl-code so of course didn’t see a problem with it at all. I felt so guilty, and when the day came, I REALLY didn’t want to go. I don’t know what I told Angela, but I’m pretty sure it was some sort of lame lie about doing something with my family that night. As you can tell, Crazy Stupid Alicia was a very bad friend. So I had a bit of an outfit crisis, and I believe what I ended up wearing was jeans and an inside-out grey sweatshirt. Classy. I like to think that I purposely tried to dress as “un-attractive” as possible, so as to make him not like me anymore. That way I could get that horrible guilty feeling in the pit of my stomach to go away. He picked me up and of course was dressed wonderfully and looked gorgeous, wearing some cords or Khakis or something, and a button-up shirt. At that point I felt terrible, and wanted to change so badly, but it was too late. So I got in his truck, and we went to the mall.

Why in God’s name would a clandestine couple go to the mall? The mall, by definition, is the epitome of high-school hang-out spots; you are almost guaranteed to run into someone there that you know. Our conversation was awkward, but nice, and I found myself getting more comfortable with him. We even started holding hands at some point. Then we saw them: Emily Anderson and Jenny Wall, two girls from our high school. We had to, of course, stop and talk to them, and the whole experience was my absolute worst nightmare. Emily looked at me like, “Bitch, what do you think you’re doing? You are so caught!” They made one insinuating remark after another, and gave me some very all-knowing smirks and winks. As soon as we got out of there, I knew it was a secret no more. That night we went to his house and watched a movie in his room. He kissed me for the first time, which I could not fully enjoy, because in the back of my head through it all was the fact that I had surely ruined my relationship with one of my very best friends.

I can’t remember if Angela found out before we went on our second date or after, but yes, she of course found out, and unfortunately it wasn’t from me. And yes, I did agree to a second date. However, Crazy Stupid Alicia did not show up on this date, instead the poor young boy had to go see Patch Adams with Evil Guilt-Ridden Alicia. I was so mean. I wouldn’t hold his hand during the movie. I told him immediately after that I was tired and he had to take me home, and hardly said a word the entire drive back. As soon as his truck pulled up into my drive way I jumped out and left, before he could get a chance to kiss me. I avoided him at school, wouldn’t answer his calls, and refused to reply to the notes he passed to me in class. At some point I finally gave him a note that told him that I just couldn’t do it. I might have even said that I didn’t like him that way, even though I did. I broke his heart. Wow, I was a really good person at the age of 17.

Anyways, my relationship with Angela survived, miraculously, on account of her truly forgiving and kind heart. We graduated from high school, best friends, and went on to college together. She stood up for me at my wedding one year ago on Sunday.

What ever happened to that poor boy whose sensitive heart I so easily stomped on back in high school? He forgave me too, and a year ago we were married in the most beautiful ceremony I could have asked for.

I don’t deserve you Dan, but I love you so much, and I cannot imagine my life without you. Happy Anniversary.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Love Bugs SUCK

A few things I learned on my trip to Florida this weekend with my favorite girls:

- The Atlanta airport requires that you jump through flaming hoops, kill a liger with your bare hands (that’s a cross between a lion and a tiger), and desperately rummage every bookstore, newsstand, and food stand for the opportunity to purchase a Pepsi product, if that unfortunately happens to be your beverage of choice. During our hour-long layover in Atlanta, Bets and I went on a 12 mile trek through the airport in search of Mountain Dew and Diet Pepsi, and when we finally found a place that sold them, they didn’t have any cold bottles of Diet Pepsi. Unable to be deterred, I purchased two Diet Pepsi’s in fountain pop form for myself and Angela, unwilling to let the fact that we would have to trek those tipsy mothers onto the plane with us ever enter my mind.

- I have some very resourceful friends, who laugh in the face of travel-induced boredom. Rather than read about Katie Holmes and Tom Hanks’ bizarre and kind of gross new relationship in any one of the many trashy magazines we purchased for the trip, Angela and Betsy decided to play a few very untraditional games of the sleep-over classic, M.A.S.H. Unfortunately Betsy’s future looks pretty grim. She will one day be stricken with an uncontrollable bladder and some serious B-ACNE, and will have to balance the nurturing and feeding of her pet bald eagle with her quest to live a normal life despite her incontinence issues.

- I am a SERIOUS over-packer. My suit-case was three-times the size of those of the majority of my traveling buddies. It was almost laughable. Well, not almost.

- My friend Kate could definitely be misconstrued as a pier-dwelling Floridian hobo. She really fit the part on Saturday afternoon when, in her hung-over state, she retreated from our sun-drenched spot on the beach to underneath the nearby outdoor restaurant’s deck. Being the good friends that we are, we let her sleep under there, curled up in her towel, until we were ready to leave the glorious sun.

- It’s ok to retreat back to your college years for a few days. Saturday evening, after a crazy night of bachelorette partying in downtown Tampa on Friday, we did what we do best. We lounged. We talked (and talked and talked and talked). We watched The Learning Channel and Discover Channel for hours. We ordered Little Caesar’s pizza and ate until we could eat no more. We watched Sex and the City (and crushed after Aiden). We watched Saturday Night Live. Kate made and served us popcorn. We went to bed, and slept in until un-godly hours, sleeping away our vacation. And it was fabulous.

- You really CAN drink too much water. On Saturday morning I woke up with the worst sore throat imaginable, which was probably attributable to the two cigarettes I smoked in my drunken haze the night before. Anyways, I was in hell. So I spent an ungodly amount of money on about 6 cough-drops in the store of the hotel lobby where we were staying the night, and started to just drink water like it was going out of style. During our night of lounging, I believe I drank about 17 big-gulp-sized cups of water over the course of the evening. I made trips to the bathroom about every 10 minutes. And I rationed the cough drops that Kate had found in her medicine cabinet, so I could make it through the night. I think I got up 4 times in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. It was ridiculous.

- Angela CAN NOT, however, drink too much Diet Pepsi. She admitted to us this weekend that she eats her cereal in the morning with Diet Pepsi instead of Milk. Yummmm…

- I’m just kidding about that last one, but I honestly wouldn’t be surprised.

- Your theme song does not always actually end up being a song that you like. Kate decided that when reminiscing about this weekend, we have to have a theme song, and every time we here this song, we will think about our little mini-vacation together, and the hilarity that of course ensued. Unfortunately, we ended up with two theme songs that we did not consciously choose. These theme songs chose us because of how much over-play they are getting on pop radio, and the fact that we couldn’t get away from them: Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl” and Akon’s “Lonely”. Both are absolutely HORRIBLE songs, but every time I hear that damn chipmunk singing, or Gwen spelling out B-A-N-A-N-A-S, I will think fondly of my girls, and our time spent in Florida with the palm trees.

- They charge extra for “frozen” margaritas (as opposed to the regular “on-the-rocks” kind). That really pisses me off. While sitting in Tampa’s airport on Sunday waiting for our flight home, we decided to get some Margaritas, to pass the time, and because they are just plain yummy. Well, low and behold, the bill comes, and mine and Liz’s frozen strawberry margaritas were $7.95, and Angela and Betsy’s were only $5.95. That is seriously rage-worthy! I never knew that before! Did you know that? How come no one told me?

- And finally, this weekend I learned that I am the luckiest girl in the world, because I have four of the best friends a girl could ask for. The amount of laughter this weekend was astounding. These girls are the kind of friends who will tell you that you have a zit on your back that needs some cover-up, and will then proceed to cover it for you. They are the kind of friends who will tell you that they prefer the other outfit you had on, even when they know that that’s not what you want to hear, and that you probably won’t even listen to them. I can’t imagine what I did in my life to deserve them, but I got them, and for that I am very thankful.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Puppy School

Our first night at puppy school went very well last night, and Bella met lots of new friends, although I admit she was a bit over-whelmed by it all. Shelties are really shy dogs by nature. They are extremely loving and friendly with their family, and people they know and are comfortable with, but strangers are very scary to them. So the crazy dog lady teacher took that into consideration when working with Bella. She even had us all sit in a circle near the end of the class and pass around each family’s dog to snuggle and hold, specifically stating that we had a very timid puppy in the group and this would be very good for her.

I found myself praying that Bella wouldn’t be the dog that peed all over the floor, or barked uncontrollably while crazy dog lady teacher was talking, or got too rough with another dog, causing them yelp in fear and pain. It was almost like I could relate to that young mother of a new born sitting in a quiet church service, or at a wedding reception during the father-of-the-bride speech, hoping and wishing with all her might that her baby would stay quiet and not call attention to what she’s sure are her poor parenting skills. I didn’t want to be the one with the bad puppy. I didn’t want to be THAT dog owner, the one that all the other dog moms and dads scoffed at.

Of course there was one know-it-all in the group. She nodded along in agreement with EVERYTHING the crazy dog lady teacher said (in that really annoyingly arrogant “I totally know all of this and could be teaching this class myself” way). We all had to go around the group and say our names and the names of our puppies, and why we were taking the class. I, predictably, nudged Dan when it was our turn because I absolutely HATE talking in front of big groups like that, and I hate, even more, doing those horrible “ice-breaker” introductions. Anyways, the know-it-all girl went on and on about why they were taking the class and it almost sounded like she was repeating word-for-word something she had read in a book. And her husband was really ugly, he had this huge mouth and gangly weird smile. So there. I win. She may know more about training a puppy, but I have a hot husband. Ha.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Oh sweet summer, I am ready for you!

Last night was Dan’s softball team’s first game of the season, which for me, kind of signals the beginning of summer. Unfortunately, the beginning of summer last night came with a treacherously chilly wind and a freezing 43 degree temperature. Too cold, I tell you, to be sitting at a softball field for more than two hours! Poor little Bella was shivering like crazy and had to be wrapped tightly in my blanket and snuggled for the first game’s entirety. This, consequently, left my shivering body minus one comfy blanket.

And I wasn’t even planning on going to go to the game, but the gorgeous sun was deceiving, and spoke to me as soon as I walked out of my dreary office building at 4:30 PM. It said, “Look, I’m all shining and gorgeous, and you’ve been stuck in the land of perpetual grayness all day, plus you can wear your new sunglasses and imagine you’re Audrey Hepburn!” So, I listened to the not to be trusted sun, and ignored the unpleasant and nippy wind that had scraped at my face on my way to the car.

So this week is a short one, as I will be leaving this summer-tease of a state early Friday morning for what I hope will be a warm and sun-drenched (not to mention alcohol infused!) weekend in Florida. It will actually be my first real vacation with just the girls, and I can’t even tell you how excited I am! I can’t wait to see you Miss-Bride-To-Be Kate!

My mouth’s incessant need to yawn and my eyes’ incessant need to water are telling me that it is time for a coffee break, so I must be off. Let’s hope something interesting happens during my trek to the cafeteria to bring a little hop-kick-step to this dull dull day. Or maybe the cafeteria lady with a lisp will break out into an inspired song and dance routine right on the salad bar. That would definitely be a pick-me-up!