Thursday, July 24, 2008

Shotgun Wedding

Sometimes I think the stories that come out of my extended family could rival those found on the Jerry Springer Show in an upper middle class sort of way, so when my second cousin Aaron left me a message Tuesday that said, "I don't know if you heard, but Ginny and I are getting married on Thursday," as in two days from that day, I immediately called him back.
He proposed to Ginny over Memorial Day weekend, so I knew a wedding was coming in the next year or so, but what was the rush? Then Aaron said, "Ginny's pregnant," while Ginny in the background joked that it was going to be a shotgun wedding. Except I still didn't understand. They already have a two and a half year old son together and while the circumstances were crazy when Aidan was chillin' in the womb, there was no rush to the altar then. But, apparently this time it was an issue with not having insurance and needing prenatal care that prompted the "shotgun wedding," so I guess this time it was more pressing. Oh the stories they'll have to tell their children...
Speaking of stories, theirs is quite interesting. While I'm only at liberty (in the sense that I still want my family to like me after they read this blog) to haphazardly display my own life on the Internet, I'll sum up their story without details just because I love their story in a hopeless romantic with a touch of "oh shit, are you serious?" type of way:

One night -> pregnancy -> baby -> eventual relationship -> proposal -> pregnancy -> "shotgun wedding"

I liked Ginny the minute I met her and it might have had something to do with the way I met her and her reaction. Right after Aidan was born, I was standing in Kelly's in Westport when I ran into some guys from high school who pointed her out as "the baby mama." Then it sort of went, "Hi, I'm Lara, you just bore my third cousin. What's your name?" After a short conversation and an exchange of numbers, she hugged me and I headed on my way.
I didn't see her for months and Aaron made no indication that he was going to date her until one day, she showed up at one of our family things and she's been around ever since. I'm not sure how or when it happened and I don't ask questions. I just smile at the rare success story. Maybe they didn't "do it like you're supposed to" or whatever, but it all worked out in the end, so who gives a shit? It kinda gives me warm fuzzies...
So, I came home from work today, threw on a dress, met my sister and Remi and headed to good old O-town for the small planned-in-two-days wedding at the Nazarene Church. Having no idea what to expect because of the timeframe, this is what I observed:

*Everytime I walk into a church I feel like either I'm going to go up in flames or the entire building will be engulfed, but miraculously it never happens.
* The guests were all family except for the maid of honor and best man.
* I thought it was hilarious that Aidan was the one who walked his parents down the aisle in a tiny tuxedo.
* Ginny had a white gown, Aaron in a tux and there was a full ceremony including lighting the unity candle.
* Cake and punch "reception" afterwards where A and G smashed cake all over each others faces and I expected no less from those two.
* Remi and Aidan chasing party favor bubbles provided the entertainment in the absence of a DJ or alcohol.
* After asking Aaron what he was going to do afterwards, I found out their honeymoon would consist of watching "Last Comic Standing" and going to bed.

While there are plans for a bigger wedding later, this was more than I thought it was going to be and we were in and out of there in less than an hour and a half. It was almost like one of those weddings you wish people would have instead of trying to outdo all the other couples with a gigantic circus for a wedding. And, I do believe it was the classiest "shotgun wedding" anyone has ever witnessed - even those really fancy ones where everyone ends up naked and covered in cake on Jerry Springer's stage.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Booze, Blues and a Bus

I started plotting my roadtrip to see Marcia Ball several months ago in the midst of my "I must occupy my time with many new things to get over this horrific breakup" stage. When I met Tyler in March during the Big XII Tournament in downtown KC, I really didn't think it was going anywhere - he lives in Des Monies...fucking IOWA...three hours away. But we sort of became this support for each other since he had just broken up with his girlfriend of seven years, which meant we bitched about our exs on the phone for hours, then suddenly realized, "hey, wait, I kind of like you."
And, so, after he made a few trips down here I figured the July 19 date Marcia Ball was in Des Monies for the Ribs Across America Festival was the perfect excuse to visit the guy. Marcia Ball's crazy cajun piano playing ass, barbeque and a nice guy - I mean, really, what else could I ask for?
Except there was one thing...I'd be staying with Tyler...at his parent's house. Yes, as a new 23-year-old grad still waiting to move to northern Iowa for his job, Tyler lives with mommy and daddy. I'm going, what the hell do I say to these people? "Hi, I'm Tyler's older Kansas City ho that he met randomly at a bar a few months ago that's going to be in your son's bed with him tonight." Really? I almost didn't go just for that reason, but Tyler assured me that it would be fine.
Then, I got to thinking - what the fuck do I care? Tyler and I are not dating and while I would consider it if we happened to live somewhat near each other, it's probably not going to happen anytime soon. There's no reason to impress these people and really? I'm fabulous. What's not to like even when I'm not putting on the "impress the parents show?" (That was my mantra which got me to drive the three hours and stay at the PARENT'S HOUSE of a guy I hardly know - just humor me.)
So, off I went. Marcia was incredible as always although Tyler and his Kanye West lovin' ass wasn't really into it. *Note to self, must culture him a bit before dating.*
We ate a blue sno cone, got our photo taken by Juice Magazine, which ended up on the Internet and brought pulled pork sandwiches back to his parents' house where I proceeded to stuff my face and talk everybody's ear off. His mom LOVES to talk, which made my life a while lot easier because so do I. The property was beautiful and I think my favorite were the gigantic goldfish they keep stocked in this landscaped pond in the backyard...or maybe it was their chunky ass Australian cattle dog named Nikki...that's a hard one.
That night it proceeded to monsoon and I sat white knuckled in the passenger seat of Tyler's truck while he drove through it to his friend's house which was roughly 35 years away. I think my heart stopped more than once and gray hairs popped out of my scalp since I wasn't exactly sure how he was even seeing the white and yellow lines on the road through the choppy ocean of water we were driving through. Once we got there, we swam to the house, then the mother of the friend (why the hell does everybody in Iowa live with their parents?) stared at me pitifully and asked, "do you want a hairdryer or something?"
The beach towel I used to dry myself off after the unwanted shower wasn't quite enough to help me not look like a complete drown rat, but, hey once again, who the hell did I have to impress?
We boarded a party bus for somebody's birthday at the house that was full of already drunk, born and bread Iowa boys, picked up some bitchy girls along the way and headed to the bar district. I was pleasantly surprised to meet about three girls that were actually civil - c'mon girls, can't we all just get along? - and that the bars were actually crowded and FUN. There's beer and dancing and young people and the same old douchebags running around like at home, but just in a different city. I almost felt bad for all of the "Idiots Out Wandering Around" and "Armpit of America" comments I've made my whole life...almost being the key word.
The next day Tyler took me out on the waverunner, then we stuffed ourselves with pizza at Old Chicago and said our goodbyes much later than I had planned. Goddamn that drive is boring...
What was funny about the trip was in my quest to "not care" and my "who do I have to impress?" attitude, I actually ended up impressing someone...Tyler...and his parents!
Apparently Tyler said they won't stop talking about me...especially his mom and sister. And Tyler was taken a back by my ability to have fun drown rat style rather than being pissed and letting my monsoon ruined hair run my night.
But, that's just me and I'm glad some people appreciate me for just being me. I think I'll keep him around for a while...even if he does live in the armpit of America. ; )

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Unwanted Serenading

*BANG, BANG, BANG*
My eyes popped open at 8:30 a.m. to the sound of the loudest banging ever known to man, most likely heightened by the slight hangover I had from staying out too late with a Match.com date the night before...nice guy so far by the way, along with the jabber of rapid conversations in Spanish. Oh yeah, I forgot, the siding was being replaced over the rest of the week apparently by a band of none other than and most likely illegal hispanic dudes. Wonderful.
Then, the mariachi music started...and the singing...and the singing along with the banging. I stayed in bed determined to sleep in a bit since I usually allowed myself to do so on Thursday mornings and also because I was plotting a quick escape from bed into my closet to put some clothes on. I was fairly certain, even though the blinds were closed, that this guy ripping the siding off right next to my bedroom window could see me laying in bed. Perhaps it was the louder than necessary banging or the constant cracking up or mention of the word "ella" which means "she" or "her" I believe. I really was not in the mood to entertain a group of Mexican construction workers with my more or less naked ass.
Later on, I hid in my closet to dress after my shower and I swear to god I heard the word "coochie" within a hushed tone conversation outside and I immediately shut myself inside the closet. Perhaps I'm being completely paranoid, but I could have sworn...
Anyway, Andy's constant barking at the dude on the back balcony, my psycho self feeling the need to duck and cover everytime I see a shadow through the blinds, being ogled far longer than necessary while I walk the dog, trying not to fall down the stairs while scaling large mountains of old siding everytime I leave the apartment, the fact that my apartment no longer has a number since it got ripped off with the siding, which confuses the poor Dominos Pizza delivery boy trying to find apartment 104, has been a blast, but I'm ready for the allotted three days to be over. I feel sorry for the people that live in bigger buildings in the complex.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Cyber-fucked

I had no idea it was going to be like this.
I put an online profile on Match.com around Sunday or Monday night and the Match people have to approve it before everyone can view it, so nobody saw it until maybe Tuesday night. By Saturday I had over 600 hits on my profile, 30 e-mails to answer...or not answer and 50 something "winks," which is sort of like saying "hi, I'm interested. Are you?"
Being extremely skeptical and tentative about the whole thing, I just wanted to post a profile and feel it out before I actually subscribed, which means you pay, then are able to view and send e-mails. I finally paid my $35.99 for one month (jesus, I can't believe I'm paying money to date. : () on Saturday to see what these guys were saying to me and better my profile since I'd just thrown a small paragraph up there at first.
I'm not sure why I'm so shocked at the response. I mean, I'm decent looking, interesting, educated, employed, independent etc. Either I underestimate myself or I underestimate the number of creepy men who will talk to anything that resembles a woman.
Some of the e-mails I'm pretty sure were written by third graders. Is the correct usage of your and you're really like some sort of fine science that only journalists are aware of? Are men really that socially inept that they write you an e-mail that simply says, "Hi, how are you?" It's like OK, what am I supposed to write back? "Well I had a bad case of the shits earlier, but I'm better now." Really? Can't they think of something a little more...I don't know...inquisitive with this whole "getting to know you" form of Web site?
My favorite are the e-mails and winks from the old, OLD balls. I know it's some sort of "status symbol" or boost to the ego for older men to date women who are half their age, but what in the hell am I going to have in common, in the romantic sense, with a man that is my dad's age besides the fact they have kids that are my age? What would we talk about? His plans for retirement in five years? What would we do for fun? Go to dinner at Old Country Buffet at 5 p.m., then attempt to drag him to a club for some dancing just to end up going home before the sun actually set, rub him down with some Bengay and go to bed at 10? OK, it might not be that extreme, but really? That shit is just gross and molestery.
I more or less share everything with my parents these days because they're a good support for me and I love their reactions to some of the crazy shit I decide to spend my time doing - case in point, Match.com. Mom and Dad gathered around the computer the other night to read my profile and check out the site. As we were browsing the men that had winked at me, my dad noted that some of the guys were quite a bit older, then pointed at a silver-haired caller and exclaimed, "That guy is pushin' 60!"
Yes, yes, Dad, I realize this...and I'm freaked out. However, a few of the guys that sent me some e-mails actually impressed me, so not all of this overwhelming attention has been bad. Mr. Right could be floating somewhere in that cyber sea of creepy fuckos, I just have to give this thing a chance I guess.

As a funny side note, as I was walking out of my parents' house that night, carrying stuff to my car, I heard a large rustle in the rocks near the front door and thought, damn that must be a huge bug and I definitely need to get away from this area before it comes out to eat my face. Then I looked behind me to see this long, slithery creature coming straight towards me. I of course scream and pick up the pace, but the thing keeps coming at me like it's chasing me and chase it did - halfway down the driveway while I shrieked loudly in my parent's old fogie neighborhood at 11 o'clock at night until it finally bailed into the grass. I cautiously sprint back inside after dropping the stuff in the car and asked my mom, "didn't you hear me screaming?"
"Well...yeah." She said.
I guess that's what I get for being the girl who screamed wolf. I scream at every little spider, moth or scary, slithery creature that appears out of nowhere, so apparently my screams are no cause for alarm anymore.
"DAD! A giant snake lizard thing just chased me down the driveway!" I said, my dad smirking and giving me that same yes-I'm-aware-I've-raised-a-lunatic look he gave me when I asked him to help me get the tick off my ass.
"C'mon we're going on a snake lizard hunt!"
Grabbing a flashlight, we head back outside together and when I heard the familiar rock rustling, a shrill scream escaped from my mouth followed by, "SEE! I TOLD YOU!" When the thing came slithering out of the rocks and into the bushes. Dad declared the mysterious, slithery thing a skink after shining the light on it in the bushes and my parents lowered their opinion of me to slightly neurotic rather than completely insane.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Singled Out

I hate to break it to you, but this world revolves around couples and families. The world and all it's amenities flips a gigantic middle finger to the singleton - especially the female singleton.
I noticed this fact during a recent trip to Bed, Bath and Beyond. BB&B and I have a special bond - it reminds me of shopping before heading off to college and they send me 20 percent off coupons every five seconds - so of course I went there to find one little canvas box for my bathroom and found myself wandering aimlessly. While in the kitchen utensil area, I realized I have virtually NONE of these things, which is not surprising since cooking and I don't mesh, however, since I've decided to attempt this tricky craft, I figured I should have them.
As I'm perusing the nine million different spatulas hanging on the wall writing things down on a scrap of paper I had in my purse, I look over and see a happy little couple intensely staring at items, then touching them to a handheld scanner to add to their wedding registry. Where the hell is my goddamn scanner? I thought. I'm doing the same thing, I'm just marrying myself. I wonder if I pranced my ass over to the wedding registry, put my name in on both blanks, scanned away, then informed my housewarming guests that I was registered at BB&B, I would just sit back and take in the bounty of awesomeness people would buy me. I mean, it's not like I'm registering at Manolo Blahnik like Carrie Bradshaw did, I just want the same old boring shit that couples get as wedding presents. Why should I have to wait? What if I never get married anyway? I smirk at my ingenious idea and scanner couple girl shoots me a look like, "eh, get away, you might get your single germs on me." Fuck you scanner biotch.
Speaking of trying cooking, I also decided that if I must be single, living alone and loving it (most of the time) I should embrace it fully. I began to Google "cooking for one," "single cooking" and "spinsters gotta eat too" and bookmarked some of the better sites (a.k.a. the ones that didn't suggest finding someone else to eat with you. Why in the fuck would you put that on a cooking for one site? Assholes). My fellow single chick Whittah, who is a social worker in Denver right now, and I were talking the other day about this very topic and she said she learned in one of her classes that preparing a meal for just yourself is healthy because it shows that you value yourself enough to take the time to make something good instead of just heating up some shit-tastic frozen piece of crap in a box all the time.
Then, we decided that grocery stores were the devil because there's not one packaged item that caters to the single person. Why hasn't anyone thought of offering HALF a loaf of bread in stores? There's no way anybody living by themselves can realistically eat the entire loaf before it turns green. Maybe there should be "single sections" in the grocery store or better yet, entire grocery stores that cater to the singleton. Perhaps I will contact HyHee and see if they're interested. My face would totally be on the salad dressing at the singles grocery store like Paul Newman.
As a part of my embracing singleness kick, I decided that I should be doing what almost every committed relationship person misses from time to time - hunting and playing with the opposite sex - a lot. Yes, dating can be a complete bitch sometimes, but I recall having quite a fun time during a couple of men juggling stints in college. Plus, if you're just chill and open to meeting new people and have the attitude of, "if I find someone I really like then cool, if I don't, that's OK too," then it actually is fun to date.
Now, the question is, where to find the dates? The pool at work is too small, the men in salsa class are old, creepy and/or married already and none of my guy friends are offering up their hot, single, nice friends I've never met. And, my track record at the bars lately? Horrendous. Two weekends in a row, the craziest, creepiest, old balls-y-est man in the entire P & L District has come up to me and tried to start an actual "getting to know you" conversation with me. I have this theory that I look 16 and I just attract all the pedophiles because I look so young. My favorite was the 4-foot-tall German man that was probably in his 60s, that handed me his number he wrote down on a pad of Post-its he pulled out of his pocket. Wow.
So, I've decided to also embrace dating of the 21st century - through the Internet. Yep, I'm joining Match.com. Something that less than five years ago I looked down at and said, "Oh god, if I'm like, 30, and still single, maybe I'll try it, but I hope I never have to." Funny how things change and stigmas gradually disappear. I have friends that have had some luck, others that had the worst dates of their lives and have heard stories about people getting married after meeting on Match.com, so the outcome could go in any direction. Which ever way it decides to go for me, at least it will give me something good to write about.
Have you hugged your singleton today?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Bubble Wrap Tits

It's that time of year again.
The time of year when a stranger attempts to make small talk with their faces two inches from your crotch while groping you and poking you in the 'gine with a giant Q-Tip. I really love the spotlight they put on it too. It's like, give it a top hat and a cane and it could be a Broadway star...
Anyway, my annual "women's wellness exam" started out like usual, me scrambling at the last minute to get an appointment before my 'script of the pill runs out. This meant I would be with yet another doctor I had never met and in a building I had never been to.
The scene: Me, PMS-y, trying to navigate through construction traffic full of Johnson County soccer moms, wandering around aimlessly in a building where "suite 240" does not exist only to find out after I was already 15 minutes late that I was in the wrong building. Frustrated crying and screaming ensues when I get back in my car and I must de-psycho before driving to the next building and walking inside. I'm 30 minutes late, but they still take me. Phew.
When the nurse asks me about STD testing, I say, eh, why not just throw it in? I'm fine, but shit can hide sometimes and I should probably make sure I'm good with all the promiscuous sex with multiple partners (a.k.a. complete and utter abstinence) I've been having lately. I would really hate for some gona-sypha-herpa to pop up at an inopportune time, try, like, ever. Then, being the brave woman that I force myself to be, I also agree to blood work for HIV and other nasty shit testing. I mean, damn, I'm 25 and I've never had an HIV test. In this day and age, that's just irresponsible for anyone.
And so, the exam begins and I decide my midwife chick is OK. She's normal, nice, but then she asks me the question that always makes me feel guilty, "Do you do your monthly exams?" As in, do I spend a few mere seconds each month getting to second base with myself, which would totally detect early signs of breast cancer if I were to have it and is a really good idea to do so. But, I of course have to answer honestly, hesitantly and sheepishly, "No."
Then it's into the usual explanation while the doc gropes me, however this time, the doc was a little more descriptive in her wording.
"Now," she said. "They usually mirror each other, so if you feel something on one of them, you should go check the other side and if it's also on that side, then it's normal."
OK.
"See like this right here, (groping left boob near armpit) feels like bubble wrap."
OooooooK.
"And I bet on this side, (switches to grope right boob in same spot) yep! There's that bubble wrap!"
Well, I guess you learn something new everyday: Some friends aren't really friends at all, sushi is in fact a tasty treat...I have bubble wrap tits...you know, the usual, every day learn-as-you-get-older type of things. But, hey, everyone likes to play with bubble wrap, right?
More poking and prodding and grimacing then I was good to go, except of course for the dreaded blood work that I sort of wish I hadn't agreed to at this point. After an eternity of waiting, the phlebotomist, a large, animated black lady in brown scrubs named Heather, I believe, came to get me and stuck me in this tiny cubbie hole off the hallway full of viles of blood. The sweat immediately begins to form at my hairline as I squirm around in the chair trying not to think, Fuck, Fuck, FUCK! I'm surrounded by blood and it's icky and I'm going to vom and pass out.
After about six years, Heather comes back and before she jabs me with the needle, it comes up in conversation that there is a distinct possibility that I will vom and pass out.
"It's cool girl, I do this all day, everyday," she says.
I stare her straight in the eye as she begins her exaggerated yet hilarious conversation about how her ex husband got sooooo mad because she said she was a better cook than him in front of their friends one time, but no matter how engaged in the conversation I tried to be, I was still acutely aware that there was a needle just chillin' in my arm and I was on the brink of ripping it out and seizing on the floor.
As she flailed her arms in emphasis, the needle was taken out and I immediately felt every ounce of life drain out of me. Yep, gonna vom and pass out.
"OOOOOOOOOOhhh girl, you alright? You not lookin' good," she said, noticing my face went pale.
Then she instructed me to uncross my legs, stick my head between my knees (totally wearing a skirt by the way) and cough - something about circulation I guess - while she fanned me furiously with a manila folder and nurses peeked in to gawk.
"See, I do this so much that sometimes I see it before the patient even does."
After sitting there is a daze for about 10 minutes, I finally decide I'm good to walk and with Heather repeatedly asking, "are you sure you OK?" I make it back to my car where I immediately call my mom to brag about my braveness and laugh about my neurosis.
A trip to the gyno has never been so exciting.
 

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