Thursday, December 31, 2009

Catching Up...

The holidays are soooo crazy - I just realized that I haven't posted anything since the middle of November! And because it has been so long since I've updated anything, you just know this is going to be a l-o-n-g, I know there are a bunch of people who check in every once in awhile, and want to know how things are going. So this is the catch-up post. Not like ketchup - catch up. As in getting caught up. So here goes:

First, I have to share the coolest message KirKo sent me for Thanksgiving (I was sick, and it was pretty uneventful, other than his text). I woke up, and the light on my phone was blinking to tell me I had a message. I turned it on, and like always, got that little smile in my heart when I saw it was from my guy. Then I read it. It about brought tears to my eyes. This is what it said:

"I am thankful for timing and ditto and me dos. I am thankful for hand holding and kissing and countdowns. I am thankful for the feeling in my stomach when I first see you. I am thankful that I have found someone that I used to only dream about. I am thankful that we are the people in the story that we love to tell so much. I AM THANKFUL FOR YOU! I LOVE YOU SWEETHEART! Happy Thanksgiving. KirKo."

How awesome is he? Answer: Way.

We were supposed to wait until Christmas for him to come back out, but 37 days was just too long to wait, so he ended up coming out the weekend of December 7. It was, like always, wonderful. We went to Christmas Village, among other things, and that's where this picture was taken:

I love this photo because we both look so dang happy - probably because we were! Well, Kirk looks a little cold - probably because it was - but he was such a trooper! He hung out with the kids and the family and on Sunday, before he left, we spent the Best. Hour. Ever. together, just talking and stuff. I just can't say enough good things about him.

Anyway, that brings me to Christmas. It was great - best ever, in fact - just very busy. Kirko got in around 4:30 PM on Christmas Eve, and from there we went straight to a family party in North Ogden. Well, we swung by home first and picked up my girls, and THEN headed for North Ogden! Kirk just hung out and made himself at home there - he seemed really comfortable, which was cool, because don'tcha just hate it when you have to worry about somebody and whether or not they're OK and stuff? I mean, you do it, anyway, when it's someone you care about, but it's nice to know that you don't have to do it, if something else should come up....

We came home around 8:00-ish, and played a couple of board games (even Bretten, who was only *mildly* sullen, played!) while we waited for my mom and dad to swing by - they always give us Christmas jammies the night before, so even Kirk got a pair this year. I think he was a little surprised to be included with that! After that, we sent the girls to bed, and Kirk helped me play Santa Claus - a first for him. He was so cute! We set out all the kids' gifts and stuffed stockings, etc., and then we went to bed, too.

Morning came all too quickly...I won't go into any of the gifts except to say that Santa was very good to all of us and that Kirk has exceptional taste. :)

After doing gifts at my house, we went to my Grandpa Bob's (Kirk keeps pretending to forget he's my grandpa, and calls him Uncle Bob, Field Marshall Bob, and even Sideshow Bob...) and had breakfast and more gifts. Then the girls went with the Ex's parents, and Kirk and I went back to my place.

While we were at my Grandpa's, though, and I was helping make OJ and stuff, Kirk held my 10-month-old niece on his lap and BS'd with my cousins, etc., like he's been a part of us forever. When I had a bit of a break, I tried to go get my niece to come see me for a minute, but she didn't want any part of me. She was just happy being Kirko's girl!! Hmmm....maybe it runs in the family?? HA!

Well, I said I wasn't going to go into detail about the gifts, but I have to tell this story so I have to give you at least this much background: Kirk did give me an absolutely gorgeous bracelet, presented very creatively around the neck of a stuffed bear, wrapped in a Crown whiskey bag (he is still a guy, after all!!).

I'd had a hard time getting the bracelet's clasp undone to get it off the bear, and then I couldn't get it done up right when I put it on when I was getting ready to go that morning...and we traditionally have champagne with breakfast on Christmas morning, anyway (I am saying that in my defense NOW...). So when we got home from Grandpa's around noon, I was tired from going to bed late, getting up early, helping in the kitchen, chasing kids, etc., so I took a nap. Of course I took off all my jewelry first, to get comfy, and stretched out....

Later that afternoon, Kirk said, "It's OK if you don't like your bracelet enough to wear it..." and I was like "OMG - what the @#$%! did I do with it?!?!" because I honestly couldn't remember what I had done with it!

So my first thought was, "Well, it's got to be with my watch and ring and stuff!" I went up to my room to look, but it wasn't there. I seriously thought I was going to puke as the panic set in! (Vomit is too polite of a word for the feeling I had in the pit of my stomach!!) I called my mom to see if anybody had seen it at Grandpa's house, and I looked everywhere in the house and car, and in all the gifts that we'd brought home from Grandpa's, etc. - and couldn't find it. I was about in tears - just absolutely *sick.*

And then Kirk said, "Did you look in your purse?" And I had already, but I figured I'd look one more I pretty much dumped my purse out on the floor, and there was the bracelet, in the bottom of my purse, thankfully. I about bawled in relief. Actually, a tear or two actually did escape....not so much for the dollar value or anything, but just because of the sentimental value, you know?

That evening, after my girls got home, we went down to my brother's house in Clinton and did more gifts and ate *again.* My mom and dad and little brothers found some gifts that Kirk really liked and I think it surprised him that they kind of spoiled him the way they did. My youngest brother gave him one of those vinyl stickers of the Peeing Calvin, with Calvin peeing on a Broncos logo (Kirk is a major Broncos fan), and my mom gave him a little Broncos snowman Christmas ornament and a Broncos nutcracker, along with some other things. My other brother gave him a Christmas beer glass filled with pistachios, I think - to tell you the truth, it was so chaotic with all the kids simultaneously ripping into their gifts, I'm really not positive!

The next day (Saturday) we took the twins to see "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" - *excellent* movie with surprisingly adult humor, even though it is a kids' show - and then went to see some old friends who were in town for the holidays that night. We went to another friend's party for a bit, and then just hung out at a dive bar in Layton for a couple of hours, just BS'ing and playing everything from Patsy Cline to Megadeth on the jukebox, so that was fun, too. Then the next day, he watched football and I pretty much napped all day, until it was time to take him to the airport.

When it came time to leave, Kirk left the nutcracker at my place, because he said he didn't want it to break in his bag on the way home, and it would just "be coming back to stay soon enough, anyway." I have quite a collection of nutcrackers that I call my Nutcracker Army, so I told him it couldn't join the army at my place until he joined the family, and he said, "That's fine. It'll happen soon enough!" BIG smiles from me at that one!!

So that's all the factual stuff. Here's the sappy stuff:

It is absolutely *great* when he is here. He fits in my house and my life so smoothly...I can't even describe just how...meant, I guess, it feels. Just so absolutely comfortable and right and...I don't know. I don't know how to describe it; it seems I lack sufficient or appropriate vocabulary to do it justice. And every time I have to send him back, it hurts worse. Seriously, like my heart has been ripped from my body and is no longer my own to do with as I will - it goes, instead, where he goes.

I have honestly never felt like this with anyone ever before. I have heard a few people describe it with their significant other, but I kind of think a lot - maybe even most? - people "settle" for something less. Something pretty good, maybe, but certainly less than this. I know I did before. I never felt about the Ex the way, over time, I came to realize I wanted to feel about somebody, and the Ex never felt the way I wanted someone to feel about me - at least that he was capable of demonstrating. Which isn't to say we had a bad marriage or whatever - in many ways, it was better than a lot of them. It was just never this, is all.

And he is such an absolutely good man - I just feel like I couldn't have chosen a better person to give my heart - or my love - to. He is respectful to me and my parents, down-to-earth with my extended family, and most importantly, good with my girls: patient and understanding with each of them in the ways they need. He listens to Cyd and lets her talk Pokemon with him, comments on her drawings, asks her questions, etc. He tries to draw Bretten out of her shell, tries to find things to compliment her on, and puts up with her cold shoulder. It's so funny - Bretten actually has to TRY to be ornery to him. It's like she catches herself warming up and being semi-nice and likable, and then is like, "Wait a minute!! What's this?!? Must....Remain....Crabby...."

And Mychael seems to quite like him and feel really comfortable with him. She layed in bed with us Sunday morning/afternoon and looked at a book with me, while Kirk lay next to me watching football on TV. Mychael and I laughed and took turns showing Kirk pictures we thought were funny, and it didn't feel awkward or weird at all. In fact, it felt so natural to me that I didn't even think twice about it until Kirk said something about it later!

In fact, she is so comfortable with him, that on the way into the movie Saturday afternoon, when Kirk just remarked casually, to no one in particular, "Geez, it's so much warmer here during the day than at night...." Mychael said to him, kind of sarcastically, "Uh, yeah. That might have a little something to do with the sun being out."

Kirk was such a good sport about it, Mychael and I just laughed! So on the way out of the theater, Kirk says the same thing back to her, sarcastically, "Gee, it's so much warmer during the day!" Mychael just went along with it and teased him back, saying, "I thought we cleared this up earlier - you know, the sun and all?" It was really cute.

Even the dog likes him. The morning after he left, Sarah came running into the bedroom, jumped up on the bed, sniffed his spot, then jumped down and ran around both sides of the bed, looking back at the bed all the while. Then she jumped back up and sniffed the bed again, then hopped off the bed, ran downstairs, and then came back up, again. Then, she sat in the doorway between the bathroom and bedroom and just stared at me like, "What'd you do with him?!"

What did I do with him? Sent him back to Phoenix, for now. What am I gonna do with him, though? Keep him.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Was It ALWAYS Supposed To Be Like This?

First, a little business to get out of the way: the answer to last post's quiz was (trumpet blast) The Greater Evil!! A.K.A. Bretten. I know, I know, y'all are quite surprised. Not! Now for the real post:

I have been rolling this blog topic around in my head for several weeks now, and I hope I can do it justice. It’s about expectations, and not missing what you never knew you didn’t have, and stuff like that.

Let me just start by saying that I hate to always rag about my marriage. It seems like a lifetime ago, and I am in such a better place now, emotionally, mentally, physically – just about every "ly" you can think of! – that it seems a shame to keep bitching about it. However, it does make for an easy target...LOL!! In all reality, though, I have learned so much in the last year and a half or so, that I almost, almost feel like I owe the Ex a debt of gratitude. I look back now and I can't believe I stayed married for as long as I did. Not that it was all bad, all the time, because it wasn't...well, horrible, I guess...and if I hadn't, I wouldn't have my kids (although there are days when that’s not exactly working in its favor!). But the point I am trying to make is that the more I get to know Kirk, the more I begin to realize that the way my marriage was, wasn't necessarily the way a marriage should've - or could've - been, anyway.

Some examples:

Number 1: I had to go to an Army “family conference” meeting in LA over the weekend a few weeks ago. The only time I ever liked the Army was when I worked there, 23 years ago. I do like many individual soldiers, and support and appreciate them, 100%. After all, there is a definite need they fulfill, and I am glad somebody is willing to step up and do it. But the Army as an institution leaves something – a great, big, steaming pile of something! – to be desired, at least by me, personally. I just don't have the type of personality that can do the military scene without seriously chafing at not only the restrictions, but also the “jump first and ask questions later” mentality.

So here I am at this meeting, not only seething at the whole military structure of the thing, but also just gagging on all the flag-waving and self-congratulating that was going on. I honestly thought some arms were going to break from the contortions people were going through, just to pat themselves on the back for being such “heroes.” I’m sorry – I thought you actually had to do something to earn the title of hero, not marry it or claim it because it came with your beret or something.

I listened to Army spouse after Army spouse talk about the honesty and commitment and integrity of “their” soldiers, and contrasted it in my mind with the experiences I had with “my” soldier over the years. It was tough – and more than once I just wanted to stand up and scream that they were wrong – they had no idea how many of these so-called heroes just played the game to get out of it whatever they could for their own personal gain, how many of them spouted integrity in one direction and turned around and cheated every other way, and so on. And more than once I was brought to tears with the frustration of not being able to correct what felt like a horribly biased and one-sided portrayal.

I had done plenty of bitching and moaning about having to attend the conference before I went, and had even vented to Kirk periodically throughout the day. The conference was supposed to be finished about 5:00 PM, and I was doing some serious clock-watching and fidgeting, watching that last hour just d-r-a-g. At about 4:10 or so, I received a text from Kirk, unbidden and totally unexpected. “Almost done, baby,” it said. “Hang in there. I love you.”

How thoughtful is that? How sweet, how utterly charming? I was blown away by the consideration. Is that what it’s supposed to be like? Forgive me for not knowing the answer – stuff like that never happened to me before.

Number 2: I’ve blogged before about my inability to sleep with any type of predictability or regularity, and my need to attend remedial sleep training or something. I’ve been this way, off and on, for about the last ten to twelve years or so. I’ve followed all the things conventional wisdom recommends, as best as I am able: no TV or computers or other light sources right before bed, develop a routine and stick to it, no caffeine, etc. I have also tried the not so conventional remedies: valerian, lavender, melatonin. And the medical remedies: Ambien, Lunesta, Trazadone. Basically, everything but the prescriptions are good for about two to four hours of sleep – but at least they don’t give me a hangover! The prescriptions are good for more like eight hours of sleep, but then I have the wicked drags the next seems you cannot have your cake, and eat it, too, as they say.

Anyway, right now I am in a period of not sleeping very well. My mom has suggested that I go down to the sleep clinic at the U, but I have been dragging my feet. I don’t want to take the leave from work, I don’t want to do the driving back and forth, I don’t want to add yet another doctor to my arsenal of health care providers I’ve been racking up over the years, etc. I may eventually do it, I don’t know.

But almost every night, as we finish our nightly telephone conversation, Kirk says to me, “And please, get some sleep, baby.” Which makes me feel very...cared for. And the other night, he said, “I’m gonna have to get with your mom and get you into one of those programs at the U....”

I joked and, kind of smart-assedly, said, “OK...Dad,” because whenever I tell him something like that, that is good for him, he teasingly tells me, “Whatever, Mother!” So I was being flippant, too.

But then he said, with all seriousness, “I’m just looking out for you. You know I just have your welfare at heart.”

Again, how sweet is that? How caring and thoughtful? Once again, I was...amazed, for lack of a better word, by Kirk’s consideration and...I don’t know...protectiveness? So again I ask, is that what it’s supposed to be like, what it’s supposed to have been like, all along? Because obviously it wasn’t, and the fact that it is now – with Kirk – often just leaves me shaking my head in wonder. Who knew? Not me!!

Number 3: Kirk came to visit last weekend. It was the first time he met my parents, and the first time he met my kids. I really could not have asked for anything to go better – it was all very low-key - and Kirk seemed to fit right in. It was all just perfect. My kids like him (even the Greater Evil confessed that the only reason she was trying not to like him was because she is mad at me!) and my parents like him, too. I even remembered to take some pictures this time!!

I have said before that I am a “word girl.” I love words, and I absolutely thrive on them. Actions are nice, too, of course, but I think I could go longer without the actions if I have the words, than I could go with the actions if I didn't have the words, if that makes sense. I just need the words. And Kirk can give them to me like no one ever has before. The sweet ones, the serious ones, and the funny ones, too. And when I comment on his ability to do that, he just says, "That's my job!" like it's no big deal, when it's everything to me.

Sunday, we were going to go watch football with some friends, and then he decided he’d just rather hang at the house and do nothing – which was fine by me. And he said, “When you enjoy doing absolutely nothing with someone 24/7, you’ve found your ‘one’ – and I have!” Stuff like that just makes me melt...

And later, when I had to take him to the airport, I bawled all the way home. I know I’m going to see him again at Christmas, and it’s really not that far away – only 37 days (that’s no longer apart than between when I went there in October and he came up here in November...), so I don’t know why it hurt so bad. But it did – I felt like my heart was literally breaking in two, even though at the same time I was feeling so good about the weekend and him and us and that everything was so truly worth it – and will be so truly worth it – in the long run.

But this is what The Sweetheart (yes, it absolutely deserves capitalization)sent me before he boarded his plane: “I have never felt so right about anything as I do about US. I cannot wait to see you again and am reliving every second I just spent with you. I feel like you complete me in so many ways. I love you with every fiber of my being. YOU are the absolute love of my life.”

I have asked this over and over again, I know, but how sweet is that? How thoughtful, how caring, how romantic? When he knows what I need, he gives it to me, unselfishly and with such amazing generosity. And one of the truly awe-inspiring aspects of this whole thing is that I feel like his openness and honesty and willingness to give so generously and genuinely, from his heart, have inspired some of the same things in me. Stated simply, being with him makes me a better version of me.

Was it supposed to be like this, all along? I don’t know. To tell you the truth, at this point, I really don’t care. I guess you cannot expect to have what you never really knew existed, after all. But I am so beyond happy that I know it exists now. Whether it’s always like this for everyone or not, I still don't know. But it is finally like this, for me.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Easiest Quiz Ever

Here's a little quiz for you. It is very easy, as it only consists of one problem. I will present you with a scenario, and then, based on that scenario, you get to answer a single question. Anybody who misses this needs to go back to remedial "Beneath My Placid Exterior" and re-read old "My Seething Cauldron" posts!!

So, I've got the twins, a.k.a. the Greater Evil and the Lesser Evil. Based on my summary of a recent conversation, see if you can guess which one (i.e., GE or LE) I was, um, "speaking" with:

The other day, we were arguing over something stupid. I remembered something happening one way, and she remembered it happening another way. We went back and forth and back and forth.

Me: "It was when we were standing right there, and you said blah, blah, blah..."

Her: "I would never say that! I never said that!"

Me: "Why would I remember you saying that, if you didn't say it?"

Her: "I don't know! I just know I never said what you said I said!"

Etc., etc., etc.

After about 20 minutes of this, I finally conceded that neither of us was willing to give in and admit that the other person was right. In an effort to model problem-solving skills and conciliatory behavior, I therefore decided to offer a truce, of sorts. I wanted to put an end to the yelling (on both our parts, but mainly because I was getting hoarse!) and the eye-rolling (on her part, as I was half-way afraid if she rolled her eyes any harder, they would pop out of her head and roll down the stairs, collecting carpet fuzzies as they bounced down each step....).

"Well," I said, "People often remember the same situation a little bit differently from one another, according to their own perspectives. So, I can see how your memory of blah-blah-blah would be different than my memory, and I am willing to admit that your version of events is at least as valid is mine is. Can you, then, also be willing to admit that my version of events also has some validity, too?"

"NOOOOooooOOOOOooooo!" she wailed.

Totally surprised and taken aback (for I thought I had made a pretty fair offer!), I barked, "Why not?!?!"

She fairly spat her response: "Because! Your version is just based on your opinion!! My version is based on fact!!"

So yeah - guess which one said that?

Answer tomorrow, as if you were really in any doubt....

Monday, October 26, 2009

It Never Gets Old...

Last Thursday we went to my daughter’s orchestra concert. It was their annual fund-raising dinner first, followed by the fall concert. The dinner was only “meh” (cold spaghetti with Ragu sauce from a jar...), but the concert was very good and Grandma and Grandpa came to watch, too. It was a fairly low-key evening, but a fun one, nevertheless.

It has become somewhat of a tradition that, whenever we have an “event” such as a dance review or an orchestra concert, we end the evening with some sort of a treat, like an ice cream cone or something. This evening's event was no different, and as soon as the concert was over, we went to a little burger shop nearby to get some milkshakes.

For some reason known only to the owners of the burger shop and, perhaps, God, it has never occurred to said owners of this little drive-in to go to the school administration and request a calendar of events scheduled to be held at the school. With said calendar, said owners might actually be able to correlate the likelihood of their having extra staffing needs with the dates of the school’s extracurricular activities. Perhaps all this will click with them, someday...I wouldn't count on it, but it might.

Anyhow, that is how the little burger shop came to find itself crowded full of people on a Thursday evening, with only three employees to run the entire restaurant – including taking orders, preparing food, running the drive-thru, and cleaning up the lobby, plus who-knows-what-all other miscellaneous tasks are involved with the day-to-day running of a burger shop. We – meaning me, the Evils (Cyd stayed home), and the Grands – placed our orders and then settled in to wait, knowing it might be awhile.

As soon as we had settled into the booth, with my parents on one side and me and my girls on the other, my mother immediately narrowed her eyes and pointed at me across the table. “You’re going to vote, aren’t you?”

You know there’s only one right way to answer a question like that, right?

“Of course!” I replied.

“Because KSL says our mayoral election is the tightest race in the entire state!!” Mom exclaimed. “Do you know you’re going to vote for?”

“Yes,” I said. “Curtis.”

I usually vote anti-whoever is in power, which means I usually vote “throw the rascals out,” or anti-incumbent. In this case, though, I am deviating somewhat from my usual rule. Curtis is the incumbent – but the challenger is a member of a family with a long history of insider politics and "string-pulling" in our little town. So, in the grand scheme of things, even though he isn’t technically the incumbent, the challenger in this race is definitely the one with the power. So I’m anti-challenger this time around, and instead of voting to throw the rascal out, I’m voting to keep him out.

So, again, I agreed I was voting for Curtis.

“Well, good!” said my mother. “That race is tight, and I’m trying to get as many people to get out and vote for Curtis as I can. We can’t have that Stevenson in there. He’s just a whiney, old....”

She paused while she searched for an appropriate word to express her displeasure with Stevenson. Meanwhile, my father, who was sitting next to her on the molded plastic bench seat, filled the gap in conversation by shifting his weight and lifting one gluteus maximus cheek to let out a gigantic fart.

Of course my girls thought this was hilarious! And I have to admit – as much as I can - and do! - sometimes put on the air of sophistication, and pretend that such things just totally gross me out, I totally thought it was funny, too.

So my girls and I are all laughing so hard tears are rolling down our faces, and my mom and dad start to get the giggles, too. My mom tries to pretend she is thoroughly disgusted with our lack of manners and refinement and manages to choke out, “Geez, Lynn! Just because you can’t hear it, doesn’t mean nobody else can, either! I swear, I am the only cultured one in this entire family!!”

We are still laughing so hard, we can barely talk. But then Mychael caps it by summarizing what we have all just witnessed:

“Gosh, Grandma!! You guys have been married for so long, Grandpa finishes your sentences for you!”

And we all giggled some more.

I just don’t know. Maybe I am uncouth, or uncultured, or whatever. But a good fart story will make me laugh every time. It just never gets old!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Best. Trip. Ever. Part Four. Or, The Last Day....

I don’t know how many of you know this, but I am sleep-challenged, and have been, off and on, for years. Since I have a special-needs daughter, I try to stay away from the word “retarded,” but saying I am sleep-special-needs sounds stupid, so let’s just say, I don’t sleep well. I have trouble falling asleep, and I have trouble staying asleep once I get there. I really need remedial sleep training. If I can sleep more than four hours at a stretch, I am happy. Every once in awhile, I will actually sleep seven hours or so, and I’m downright ecstatic. Don’t get me wrong – I am not one of those people who are all perky on only four or five hours of sleep a night. I really need a full eight. Every night. I just can’t figure out how to get it.

But for some unknown reason, when I was sleeping next to Kirk...I slept juuuuuuust fine. There is probably some scientific explanation involving endorphins and oxytocin and neurotransmitters and stuff, but I think it has something to do with the peace that comes when you can be yourself with the one you love, and you know you are loved in return. That, and physical exercise. ;)

Anyway, I’d been sleeping uncharacteristically well, until the last night, in Kirk’s sister’s guest house. The bed was great, and couldn’t have been more comfortable. The temperature was fine, and I was definitely plenty tired. Everything was absolutely conducive to a very good night’s sleep. But at 3:00 AM, I was wide awake, and immediately stricken with an almost unbearable sadness with the knowledge that I’d be leaving today. Kirk had been able to get the day before off, but would have to work for a little bit this morning, so I knew I couldn’t wake him up. Well, I could, but it wouldn’t be very nice if I did. So I just laid there, feeling the tears begin to well, and my nose start to burn the way it does when you know the crying is about to commence. I kept trying to talk myself out of it. “Don’t cry ‘cause you’re leaving,” I told myself. “Be happy because you were able to come in the first place!”

I just wanted so badly to drink him in, to stash away memories that I would be able to pull out and savor later, when Kirk would be far away. I was getting mad at myself for being so pathetically sappy, so I went into the bathroom, turned on the light, and sat on the floor and tried to read for a bit to distract myself, not entirely successfully. After a bit, I gave up and went back to bed, but kept looking at the clock, still just so restless. Finally, I leaned up on one elbow, and just...watched. Watched him sleep. Because I could.

It's the best way to wake up - just to be in the arms of the one you love, and feel that absolute safety and warmth and security and contentedness and acceptance It still makes me bawl just thinking about it. I can't tell if they're tears of happiness for even ever having been able to experience it at all, even if only for a little bit, or tears of sadness for not having it now and missing him, or a little bit of both..... Even now, more than a week later, that pain feels so fresh that I have to swallow the lump in my throat that comes with the memory of it.

It almost feels like I love him too much for my heart and soul to be able to contain, and whenever I try to quantify or explain or whatever, it wells up and starts leaking out my eyes in the form of tears. How weird is that?!?! I hope I will kind of get accustomed to feeling so much someday, so that I don't cry every time I think about how much I love him.... Just believe it when I say I have never loved like this before, and never knew it was even possible. So I think I was just feeling a little overwhelmed that morning, too.

I woke him up by tickling his back, and with his voice still groggy with sleep, he said, "What are you doing?"

"Watching you," I said.


"Because I can..." was all I choked out, before the torrent of tears just came. He held me while I sobbed, but eventually I got it back together. We talked and, I think, both cried a little bit - I told him I knew that I needed to be happy we’d been able to have the time together in the first place instead of sad it was coming to an end, and he said that we needed to remember that if it wasn't as good as it is between us, it wouldn't hurt so much to part, so it was just proof of how good it is, how right we are together, etc. And I really appreciated his spin on things. He is so good about giving me the words I need to hear!

Anyway, he went to work, and I finally went back to sleep. I got up about four hours later and took my time in the shower and getting ready, etc. And then when he got back, we ate some chips and salsa and yogurt (a surprisingly tasty combination!) at his sister's before leaving, and then just bummed around for a little bit. We went to a local brew pub so I could get a "Kiltlifter Ale" T-shirt – absolutely perrrrfect for me!!

Then we just drove and talked and kind of took our time on our way to the airport. I was doing a pretty good job holding it all together, I thought. I didn't want his last memory of me to be of red-rimmed, mascara-ringed eyes and a red, runny nose, so I was chewing on the insides of my lip something fierce to keep it all under control. We were joking that throughout the whole entire trip, I did not take one single picture!! I was too busy making memories to think to take any pictures of them – I guess that girl gene must have skipped me somehow, because I am lousy at taking pictures and always have been. So we were talking about trying to stop and ask a Skycap or even some stranger to take one of us for us, just so we'd have one, but the closer we got to the airport, the more tenuous the control on our emotions was getting.

By the time we got to the curb at the airport (turns out there’s a reason those are called the “kiss and cry” lanes!!), and he stopped and got my bags out, I was really having a hard time. I felt like if anyone so much as said “Boo!” to me, I would lose it. So we didn’t even try for a picture. We stood there and kissed good-bye and exchanged our "I love you's," and I just kept telling myself "Don't cry. Don't cry. Don't CRY!! DON'TCRYDON'TCRYDON'TCRY!!!!" And I could tell Kirk had a little tic in his jaw and his voice was a little wavery, too. So I went into the airport and he left, and I didn't look back (bad luck to look back....).

As I was walking through the airport up to security, my eyes were leaking and every time I'd wipe a tear, a new one would magically spring up to take it's place. I kept dabbing at the corners of my eyes with a tissue that, by this time, was pretty much a soggy, wadded-up, mascara’ed mess – definitely the worse for wear. I got to the security gate, and the TSA guy looked at my ID, looked at my boarding pass, scribbled something, and waived me on, but I could tell he was thinking, "What's the deal with her?"

I was still dabbing at my eyes as I put my bags on the conveyor belt and my shoes, sweater, and belt in the tub to go through the x-ray machine, and I was still chewing, chewing, chewing on my lip trying to keep from disintegrating into a full-on bawl. Just then, the X-ray guy stops the conveyor belt, backs it up, and calls, "Bag check on Lane 1!" and a TSA guy comes over and gets my bag and says to me, "Ma'am, is this your bag?" And I. Just. Lost it.

"Yeeeeesssssss!" I wail.

He looks at me, panick-stricken. "It's OK, Ma'am. There's no problem - your number just came up, that's all. We're just going to have a quick look and we'll get you on your way!"

I'm all, "I - I - I kn-n-noooow. I'm s-s-s-orry!!"

He unpacked my bag and put everything in a tub, so he could run it and the bag back through the x-ray machine separately. Meanwhile, I'm standing there, bawling my head off in great big, heaving sobs. There is another lady, about 10 to 15 years older than me, on the other end of the table where the TSA guy had unpacked everything, and she is going through the same ordeal. "It's OK," she says to me. "This happens to me all the time. It's no big deal!"

She is being so nice - I don't know what to say. I know it's not the TSA people's fault, I know it's not my fault, but I hardly want to tell them all the real reason I am bawling in the middle of the Phoenix airport!!

My poor little tissue is as good as useless now, and I try to reach into my bag for another one, but the TSA guy holds up his rubber-gloved hand to stop me and says, "Uh, Ma'am, please don't try to reach into your bags until I'm finished with my search."

I'm still blubbering, and I apologize again. "I - I - I'm s-s-s-sorry-y-y-y!!!!" I wail.

By this time, there is the one TSA guy helping the nice lady on the other end of the table, the one TSA guy on the x-ray machine, the one TSA guy helping me on my end of the table, and then about six TSA people standing around my guy with their arms folded, watching me. I can tell they think I am a certifiable lunatic.

My TSA guy gets everything done, and brings it all back over from the x-ray machine, of course giving me the all-clear. "Would you like to put your bag back together, Ma'am, or would you like me to do it?" he asks, oh-so-politely. And I'm hiccupping now, I've been crying so hard this whole time, but I said I'd do I put my bag back together, face red and blotchy, nose running, mascara completely gone....stomach was awful.

Crying in the airport = embarrassing. Crying so hard when the TSA guy pulls your bag that they apparently think you're going to go off the deep end on them so they call in reinforcements = embarrassing x2!!

But then, just as I was boarding the airplane, I got a text from Kirk. "You are my world. I absolutely love you. Let the next countdown begin!" And he sent me a picture of his hand that just said, "Mine misses yours already." So how stinkin' sweet is that? How stinkin' sweet is he?

And by the time I landed in SLC, I had a message waiting for me from him that said, “This says it all...I love you!!! ‘Missing someone gets easier every day because even though it’s one day further from the last time you saw each other, it’s one day closer to the next time you will.’” Honestly, could he be any better?

Suffice it to say that it was a grrrrrrrreat trip. He is every bit as wonderful as I remembered. We are as absolutely right together as I thought.

So, I guess I probably either need to figure out how to move my ass to Phoenix, or get his moved up here. And I need to figure out how to get my girls to be OK with having him in their lives. He's gonna be in their lives one way or another, but I'd rather them like him and be OK with it, than not. But it's the weirdest thing - I just feel so strongly somehow that Kirk and I were meant to be together, and that things will ultimately work out, that I just have a certain sense of...oh, I don't know, peace and "rightness," almost...that everything will fall into place when and where it is meant to do so. I just have to try to make myself be patient and wait for it to unfold, instead of push to make it happen on my own timeframe, as I am wont to do. Damn this Type A personality tendency of mine - it can be very difficult to manage, at times!!

But that's all down the road a piece. For now, it really was the Best. Trip. Ever.

As always, comments, advice, etc., welcome and appreciated... :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Best. Trip. Ever. Part Three. Or, My Favorite Day.

Monday was my favorite day.

Once again we took our time waking up that morning, and then when we finally decided to get up and get going, I had what was perhaps the best shower of my entire life. Man, Kirk can kiss like none other!! ‘Nuff said. Other than I am one verrrrry lucky girl. :)

Anyway, he was giving me a hard time about taking so long to get ready, and the more he teased me, the more time I took. I’m contrary like that, sometimes (!). Besides, girls always take longer. If my hair was a fraction of an inch long and I didn’t have to put make-up or anything on, it wouldn’t take me so long to get ready, either!

We couldn't decide if we wanted to go for a late breakfast or an early lunch. Kirk kept saying I had to decide, and I kept saying it was his town and he should choose, and I would choose when something was really important to me one way or another. He eventually settled it by writing a “B” (for breakfast) on one hand, and “L” (for lunch) on the other, and telling me to choose right or left. I chose left, which ended up being breakfast.

We left the house and started out for the breakfast place. I couldn’t tell where we were going – in Utah, you always have the mountains to kind of orient yourself with, but in Phoenix, it all seems very flat and relatively the same, no matter which direction you look. Long story short, it ended up not mattering because we couldn't find the breakfast place and when Kirk finally broke down and called first his brother, then his sister, and finally his mom for directions (apparently this happens a lot, which I think is hilarious – I couldn’t help but giggle, and his mom thought it was pretty amusing, too! Good thing Kirk is a good sport about it...), it ended up being closed that day, anyway. So we went for the early lunch, instead. It was this really cool salad place where you get to watch them make it pretty much to your specifications. Kirk had the standard Caesar and I had a Cobb with some yummy pork tenderloin. They were both huge, and absolutely dee-lish!

Then we went to a really upscale mall, which was really interesting to see and experience but was almost overwhelming for what I am used to. I definitely felt like the proverbial country mouse. It was about four times the size of the Layton Hills Mall, easy, and had Nieman Marcus, and Nordstrom, and Dillard’s, and Macy's in it, plus a Barney’s “coming soon,” a Cartier's, and a Tiffany's and maybe even another jewelry store where entry is by invitation only (i.e., you have to buzz to be let in - you can't just wander in and out at will....). And that doesn't even begin to cover all the little boutique shops and your mall standards like Aeropostale and Abercrombie & Fitch and Victoria's Secret, Sephora, etc. We window-shopped and played with the puppies in the pet store and sampled hand lotions and basically acted pretty much the way my younger brother has repeatedly accused me of: like a 40-year-old going on 16. Sigh….

After that, we went to Old Town Scottsdale, which was a lot of fun, as well. We went to this ice cream parlor called "The Sugar Bowl" (here’s a link: It has been there since 1958, and is still owned and operated by the same people who opened it up way back then. And, it looks like it hasn't changed a bit in the 51 years since. It looks like a 50’s poodle skirt - all pink and white. Pink vinyl upholstery on the booths, pink Formica with gold flecks in it on all the table tops, black and white checkered floor, pink and white stained glass light fixtures, etc. Bil Keane, the guy who draws The Family Circus comic, apparently lives near the area and is a frequent patron. His comic panels are featured decor, and are included as part of the menu, etc.

The menu itself is kind of hard to figure out, like what columns are flavors of sauces, and which ones are ice creams, and how many of these make one of those and what of this goes with that, and so on. And some of their standard menu items are, there would be vanilla and orange ice creams with strawberry sauce and you'd think, "Oh, that sounds good..." and then you'd read, "...with Turkish coffee sauce," so you'd be going, "Oh,, not the Turkish coffee...." So we had a really hard time deciding what we wanted. The waitress must have come by to take our order four or five times.

Finally, we decided to get the Spectacular Banana Bowl, which is basically an "everything on it” banana split, and a small caramel sundae, because that was the one thing the banana split thing was missing, and we'd just share 'em both. So when the waitress finally came back, and took our order, she says, "It took you all that time, just to decide on that?" Then, as she was walking off, Kirk goes under his breath, "Well, there goes your 15%!!!" That made me laugh!

We sat across the aisle from this old couple who were probably in their 80's. The old guy was just bitchin' up a storm. I couldn't understand a word he was saying because it seemed like his dentures were loose or maybe he had hearing loss or some other speech impediment or something, but I could tell he was just bitch, bitch, bitch. The little old lady sitting across from him didn't even bat an eye or even, from what I could tell, acknowledge or respond. Kirk commented a couple of times that he loved people watching, and that old people were great - he could watch/listen to them all day, and he wondered what Grandpa was bitching about, etc. When the waitress finally brought the old guy his sundae, he just tucked into it and didn't even make a peep after that. It was funny! Kirk was all, "Well, there's the secret to keeping him quiet, right there! Bring the man his ice cream!!" I can relate. Ice cream keeps me quiet, too.

Some other couples came in after that and sat near us, and had difficulty ordering, too, so it wasn't just us. We talked about redesigning The Sugar Bowl’s menu for them, and we watched the same waitress - whose nametag said she had worked there since 1964 or something like that - be bitchy to them, too. So Kirk says to me, "I want to order something that's not on the menu and totally mess her up - just blow her out of the water. I'll say, ‘Yeah, I'd like a mayonnaise malt, please!’" And I just lost it - totally got the giggles!!

So then both he and I were just laughing to the point where all we had to do was look at each other and we’d start laughing again!! These two teenage skater chicks had been seated in the booth directly across from ours – and who you'd think we, being the adults, would normally be looking down upon - instead looked down upon us and said, "Hmph!! Apparently, something over there is *awfully* funny!!" And that, of course, made us laugh even harder!

Afterwards, I made Kirk go into a Christmas ornament shop with me, and he said, "See? This is how you know its true love, right here: I am voluntarily going into this store with you!" When we went in, there was some awful glockenspiel muzak playing, and there were these two little old ladies in there with more money than sense. Everywhere you look, there are signs that say, "Please do not touch," and "Please ask for assistance," and these two women (they had a slight accent - I couldn't tell if it was slightly German or what....) were running the sole salesclerk ragged. One would lean over and grab something and the clerk would run over and try to help her, and the other one would start talking from the other side of the store about something else, so the clerk would leave the first one and run over that way. Then the first one would start messing with something, and knock something over...more than once, we'd hear a “crash!” or “thud!” and then one of the old lady's voices would say something like, "Sweet Jesus!!" Then we'd see the sales clerk roll her eyes....and Kirk and I would giggle over that, too!

We went and did a little more souvenir hunting in Old Town, and then we went and met his family (mom, brother and sister-in-law and kids and sister and kids) for pizza. It was some of the best pizza I've ever had. We had wings and some chips and salsa for appetizers - the salsa had shrimp in it, and I know it has a special name, but I can't think of it - and it was scrumptious, too. The pizzas are small - maybe 13"-14" is all, about enough for two people to share, so his sister-in-law and I shared one that had sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh sweet corn, and goat cheese on it. OMG, it was good!!!

And Kirk’s family – I know I already said this, but they really are, to a person, the most down-to-earth, sincere, warm, genuine, and gracious people I have ever met. I didn’t once feel awkward or out of place or uncomfortable, one bit. From my perspective, at least, it felt totally effortless to be around them. And there aren't very many people I can say that about - hell, some of my friends take effort, y'know?

His brother is as funny as he is, his sister-in-law is pretty and warm and friendly and out-going, and their kids are cute and well-mannered and charming. His sister is attractive and polished and generous, and her kids are well-behaved, precious and affectionate and cute as can be, too. I was especially struck by how well-mannered and yet, out-going, *all* of the kids were – the oldest nephew is only 8 or 9, I think, and then there is another nephew who is around 5 or so, and two little nieces who will be turning 4 in a couple of months, a boy and a girl each for his sister and his brother. Compared to all the little monkeys I am accustomed to associating with, no one was swinging from the chandeliers, no one flung themselves on the floor to bawl, no one attempted to run away, there were no fights….it was actually really nice.

And his sister’s little girl was just precious. She must have asked her mom a dozen times through the course of the evening, what my name was. When it was finally time to go, she whispered to her mom that she wanted to give me both a goodbye hug AND a kiss, but she was too embarrassed! So I leaned down and gave her a hug, and told her that that was very nice and I would be happy to give her a hug anytime. So stinkin’ cute!!

After that, we went to see his sister's house. Her hubby is Phil Mickelsen's caddy, so they are comfortably well-off, and live in a gated community where all visitors have to sign in, etc. Their home has a pool and a hot tub and a guest house, etc., and everything in their home is, of course, very nice, with the 15' ceilings and 10' doors, the Viking refrigerator and range and the granite-topped island in the kitchen, and the hand-scraped hardwood plank floors, etc. Absolutely gorgeous! And oddly enough, decorated very much the way I might do it, if I lived there....

She very graciously invited us to stay in the guest house that night. I was a little torn – part of me wanted to go back to Kirk’s and just hang out in his space for some purely emotional need, but the desire for creature comforts ultimately prevailed and we decided to take her up on her offer. We had to run back to Kirk’s, anyway, to get his stuff for work the next day, and while we were there, he opened the birthday present I brought him. It was just a picture of us together, taken the night we met at the barbecue, but I think he liked it OK. I have one just like it. Once my kids actually get to meet him (which I hope will be soon), I will put mine up in my room, too....

Anyway, long story short, I did not sleep in the same bed twice the entire time I was in Phoenix.

Tales of my last day in Phoenix, coming soon.... I promise – you will laugh and cry. But maybe not in that order. 

Friday, October 9, 2009

Best. Weekend. Ever. Part Two. Or, It's Not The What, It's The Who.

Continuing from where I left off on my last post....

Sunday morning, we woke up early but just laid around in bed for a couple of hours. Now, before you start giggling, Beavis, remember, it’s not so much the what, it’s the who. And I am NOT talking about the band!! It was just so nice to just lay there and talk, or laugh, or snuggle and cuddle, or some combination thereof. As much as I like “the deed,” I like that, more. Because really, when you look back at your life, there are a few big milestone moments, but when you put those together, they comprise only a fraction of the time you’ve spent here on earth. The vast majority of your lifetime is made up of the little things, those small, everyday moments that, strung together, are the hours and days and years and decades of life. If you don’t enjoy those little moments when they happen, you’re not enjoying your life when it happens, either.

Enough preaching!

So, even though we were up early, we got going kind of late and were supposed to be at this sports bar that Kirk hangs out at to watch the Denver/Dallas football game before too long. Kirk’s best friend, Shawn, came over first, so I met him – he is a super nice guy. We had just time enough to enjoy a red beer (I’d never had one made with spicy V-8 before – yummy!) and watch a little TV, then we headed for the bar.

I’ve traveled before so of course I know this, but it never ceases to amaze me when I go into a bar in a state where they treat you like grown-ups. Not all bars are dives! This one, in fact, was really nice. It actually looked more like a restaurant than the average bar in the Beehive State does. It was decorated in very muted, neutral tones of caramel, pumpkin, and gray, and was very clean, as well. There were a multitude of flat-panel TV’s hung everywhere, with a large bow-front pass-through into a stainless steel kitchen in the rear left corner. Other than the giant horseshoe-shaped bar in the middle of the place, it could’ve been any mid-to-upper range restaurant. The whole place felt very...classy.

We arranged to watch the game in one of the bar’s private rooms. There was a leather love seat that Kirk and I claimed (natch!), and four or so matching leather club chairs, plus a 6-top table and chairs and some other smaller cocktail tables. His brother and sister-in-law soon arrived, and though I had already met Eric (Kirk's brother) when they were here in Utah, I’d never met his brother’s wife, Cari, before. I was a little bit nervous, but they are both as down-to-earth and genuine as Kirk – truly fun people.

Kirk likes Denver and his brother likes Dallas, so they were giving each other a hard time the whole afternoon. And whenever either team would do anything good, they would clap so long and loud and hard, their hands would be bright red and my ears would ring!! We ate there - it was really good food; not your typical "bar" food at all. On Kirk’s advice, I ordered the chipolte chicken pasta. It was a little spicy, but really good - like pasta alfredo except with mostacolli, and the addition of tomatoes (which – hang on to something – I am beginning to develop a slight taste for!), and the creamy alfredo-like sauce had that smoky/spicy chipolte flavor. It was dee-lish.

A little while later, Kirk and Eric’s mom showed up. She was the one I was most nervous about meeting. I really wanted her to like me – you know how boys are about their mothers, and how moms can be about their sons’ choices for female companionship. Plus, my former, mother-in-law was never very warm or companionable or affectionate at all. So I was more than a little scared.

I shouldn’t have been. Mom is awesome – a nicer lady, you could not ask for. She is gorgeous; an accomplished realtor, but warm and sincere and easy to talk to and just fun. As totally opposite from my former mother-in-law as night is from day. I guess that must be where Kirk gets some (if not most, or maybe even all) of his charm!

So, for most of the rest of the game, Kirk’s sister-in-law and his mom and I just sat and only half-paid attention to the game, and talked the rest of the time. Eric and Cari and Mom all left right after the game got over – Denver won, by the way, which made Kirk really happy. And that, of course, made me really happy. That's love - when you are just as happy when something happens to make the person you love happy, as you would be if that happy event had actually happened to you, instead.

After the game, we hung out in the main part of the bar for a little while longer and I met a bunch of his friends, and they kept buying him/us drinks - partly because "his" team won, and partly 'cause "his girl" was finally there, and so they were all just happy for him. Kinda hard to tell which event made them happier, but I’m just going with a 50/50 split 'cause I probably don't really want to know – HA!

A couple of Kirk’s friends had invited us to stay at their place for the night because they were going to be out of town for the weekend, taking their little boy to Disneyland for his birthday. It would give us a chance to be away from everybody/everything – including the elusive roommate that allegedly exists but whom I never actually met (however, I did see some evidence of his passage so I’m assuming he’s just shy...). It was really nice of them to offer, not only because their house was really nice (they had a gorgeous master bath – all chocolate browns and baby blues and antiqued silver and coppers and creams), but also because it is definitely more comfortable to not have to worry about disturbing anyone or who might be lurking in the halls if you have to make a midnight potty run or something. So we took them up on their offer and ended up going to their place for the night afterwards, instead of back to Kirk's.

And all I’m saying about that, was that it was another w-a-y fun evening. And, you are never too old to learn new things, as I learned a few new things, myself. I believe I may have taught Kirk a few, too. Tee hee!

But the important part, the best part, is just being together. ‘Cause it’s not the what, it’s the who.

More to come...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Best. Weekend. Ever. Part One.

I just got back from Phoenix the day before yesterday after a perfectly lovely three-day weekend. I have ZERO complaints, but way too much went on to consolidate it all into a single post. So, I’ll put as much as I can into this one, and pick up wherever I leave off in the next post, and so on….

First, how I ended up in Phoenix in the first place: After a couple of weeks of talking on the phone for two or three hours every night, and missing and loving Kirk so much I thought my heart would burst with it, he and I were trying to figure out when would be a good time for either him to come see me, or me to go see him. I really wanted him to come here. I don’t know why, exactly – it just seemed... easier, or safer, or something, to have him come to me, and, I don’t know...unseemly, somehow, for me to go to him. Like I was (gasp!) chasing him or something. I am a thoroughly modern woman in many, if not most, respects, but I guess there are some parts of me where I am still just an old-fashioned girl!

Anyway, his birthday was coming up (it’s today, as a matter of fact – Happy 41, KirkO!) so early last week, I asked him what he wanted for his birthday. His answer? “To spend some time with you.” What girl doesn’t melt over an answer like that?

But I was being practical, so I said, “Well, I don’t know if I can swing that. What’s your second choice?”

He gave me some smartass answer about joining the priesthood, then, and I said I couldn’t do anything about that one, either, so he’d better give me some other suggestions. His answer again: “I only have one thing on my list, and that is to somehow, someway, hang out with you.”

So, just out of curiosity, I looked at some airfares. I had been looking, off and on, for several days, but hadn’t spotted any real deals until suddenly, one jumped out at me that was almost half the price of what regular airfare seemed to be running. It seemed like a sign, like it was pre-destined, like so much of this thing with Kirk has been. So I made a quick phone call to my mom to make sure she’d be OK watching my kids for a few days, then hurried to book the flight before the rate changed. Then I texted Kirk.

“Can you pick me up at the Phoenix airport on Saturday, 10/3, from Delta Flight 1235, at 9:07 PM?”

His response? “ABSOF*CKINGLUTELY!!!!”

And he was so cute about it! Genuinely like a kid waiting for Christmas! I would get countdown texts: “76 hours and 23 minutes!” “59 hours and 12 minutes!” “12 hours 10 minutes!” And lists of things he was doing to get ready: “Dinner. Check. Laundry. Check. Dogs fed. Check. Head over heels, crazy, out of my mind in love. CHECK.” And on the Friday before I left, "So, what are you doing tomorrow night? Wanna make out?" And on Saturday morning, "Can't wait to see you tonight!" And truthfully, I couldn’t wait, either.

But, I was getting more and more nervous, too. A little bitty part of me - I'd say about 2% - was kind of afraid that there was a chance it had all been a fluke - that as cool as it was just hanging out with Kirk while he was here, and as comfortable as I felt with him, and as much I was digging him on the phone, etc., the possibility existed that in reality, it would turn out that it was all just a honeymoon phase or a fantasy or something. I mean, you can't really just "click" like that in reality and have it all be so perfect, so 100% right, so quickly, can you? Certainly not 24/7, day after day....

Finally Saturday rolled around – but I couldn’t leave early because The Family (the huge extended one) had already scheduled a major family portrait event with all 50-some-odd members participating. I would be leaving straight from the pictures to go to the airport, and my nerves were not helped by my brothers saying things like, "Geez, can't you get a booty call a little closer to home?" (Silly boys, they don’t understand! This was no ordinary booty call!!) and my little beasties, or rather one in particular, being her usual-of-late beastie little self. As I was leaving, I kissed each girl and told them the same thing: "Good-bye. I love you. And remember, no matter what - I'll *always* come back to you." The eldest said, "Bye, Mom. Love you. K." The Lesser Evil said, "OK, Mom. Love you, too. I know - thanks for telling me, though." And my beautiful, black-hearted Greater Evil, bless her rotten little soul, just looked at me and said, "Why would you say that?" Grrrrrrrr.......

Anyway, Kirk had asked me to look for a certain type of sunflower seed that I was unable to find on the way to the airport, so I put out a request to all the shoppers in the family to keep their eyes out for both the cracked pepper and bacon flavored varieties; and then I was off – but still as nervous as ever! Because now, not only was I worrying about the “what if it’s a fluke” thing, but I was also worrying about all the practical matters of morning breath and bed head, stretch marks and C-section scars, and all that other stuff, too. Those of you who know me well, know that I am actually fairly well accomplished at working myself up into a regular lather – I am just generally equally accomplished at hiding it well, is all!

So I was stressing in the airport and on the plane, too, even though there were no lines, my flight was on time, and everything was just as smooth as butter. And so of course I stressed upon landing and in the airport in Phoenix, too – even though it seems to be a pretty easy place in which to find your way around. I texted Kirk when I got there, and he told me what exit to use so he could pick me up. My flight got in a little early, and I didn't check any bags, so he ended up being about 5 minutes late picking me up. He said he would be in a silver Corolla - well, I have no idea what a Corolla looks like!! So he says, "Do you know what a Maxima looks like?" and I'm like, "No...." and he goes through a whole list of cars, and I just keep saying, "Nope." "No, sorry..." "Nope!" And so then he finally just says, "Just walk outside. I'll find you!"

So I walk outside, and Kirk finds me outside the airport with no problem (but not before I was semi-accosted by a panhandling drunk looking for money to visit his grandmother in the hospital in Florida, or something like that...welcome to Phoenix!! Ha!). Anyway, my nerves at this point feel like they are frayed to the breaking point under the tension I have built up for myself. I know I have no one to blame for this self-induced tension but me, but it doesn’t seem to keep me from doing it, ever!

I watch as he pulls over, parks, and gets out. He just walks over, gives me a great big hug and kiss and says, "Hi, baby!" Just like that, something magical happens. All my nervousness melts away. It was just like before – an immediate click, like a puzzle piece snapping into place, with no awkwardness, no uncomfortable silence - just like all of a sudden, my world righted itself and was back spinning on its axis, smooth and steady once again. Funny how just his touch and two little words made everything OK….

Anyway, he grabs my bags and throws them in the back of his car and opens the door for me. Sitting on the passenger seat is a little package with a card with my name on it. "What's this?" I ask. He says, "Oh, I don't know - someone must've left something in my car for you. You’d better open it!"

I open the card, and on the front is the cutest black and white picture of a little boy of about three or four, holding the face of a little girl of about the same age, while he kisses her. Inside, it says, "I needed ya. I got ya. I'm keeping ya. Love ya." Then Kirk wrote the following: "I got chills when I saw this card. It totally reminded me of the 1st time I kissed you. I can't express in words how in LOVE I am with you but I absolutely love every second of it. You are the best thing to ever happen to me and I'm thankful every day. I love you!!!" and then he signed it. And the little gift was a bottle of DKNY Be Delicious - I had told him, when he was up here before, that I thought he smelled good, so he bought me the women's version of the same kind of cologne he was wearing at the time. How thoughtful is that? But I think I almost like the card better than the gift's the little things, y'know.

And, to make it even better (as if it could be any better!), as soon as I got in the car, Dean Martin's "Ain't That A Kick In The Head" began to play. In one of those weird coincidences, we both love Dean Martin, and that song is one of our favorites! Of course, Kirk had it on a CD and set it up that way, but still - very thoughtful and very romantic. I swear I thought guys like him only existed in trashy romance novels and Sandra Bullock or Renee Zellweger movies. As one of my best guy pals put it, Kirk is a genuine, certified, Knight - fer sure.

Anyway, Kirk said something about only living 15 minutes away from the airport, is all, and that he could always drive straight to the airport, but that it was really confusing to get back out of it - so if it took him longer than 15-20 minutes to get home, I'd know he was lost. Long story short, it took us about 40-45 minutes to get back to his place - LOL! We just giggled...which is one of the reasons I love him so. I always laugh when I am with him, or when I talk to him. It's great!

So, back at his place, we took a tour of the house he rents and shares with a friend (never did see the friend - he works nights, I guess ), then had a beer and watched TV, then went to bed. All I will say about *that* part of the evening is this: it is definitely, definitely true that who you are with is w-a-y more important than what you are doing.

Because for the most part, I didn't do anything I haven't done many times before in my life, but it was all so indescribably....better.

Plus, it's an awful lot of fun to wake up in the middle of the night and actually want to snuggle and/or fool around, instead of think, "Geez! I hope I didn't wake him up, too, because dammit, if he wakes up and wants to ****, I'm gonna be really pissed!!" I think you can probably guess which of these I spent the better part of the last 20 years doing – and this way is w-a-y better, fer sure!!

But you know what? Even if we hadn't done anything sexual at all, just to be able to lay there next to Kirk, with his arm around me, was pure heaven....

That’s a good place to stop, for now. More on my fab weekend in my next post....

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Another Nausea-Inducing Post...

It don’t get any better than this.

Sorry – I am still being the annoying friend who makes you want to throw up in your mouth a little. Perhaps when I tell you why, you will understand and forgive me a little bit – and in the meantime, grab your saltines and gingerale, because I think this makes a pretty cute story:

First, the back story: I’ve been dating. I haven’t really blogged about it much, if at all, because really – not many of the dates were worth my time to write about or your time to read about. There was the guy who still lived with his mother, did multi-level marketing, and said “Me likey [this]” or “Me no likey [that]” about everything. There was the guy with gray teeth who called his shiny, jacked-up 2010 Ford truck his “piece” and actually thinks Iggy's has good food. And the guy who apparently did not realize that napkins are generally placed on a table with the intent that they be *used,* and are not merely placed there strictly for decor.

But there were a few I liked: The guy who owned his own business, supplying bathroom fixtures to hotels and condominiums. The systems engineer for a defense contractor. The EMT. The artist.

For a time, I was actually pretty smitten with the business owner. Remember the butterflies post? I had butterflies with him. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was clue that things were unbalanced - and thus, not right - with him...and it turned out to be the case as he promised (via text and e-mail) to call for four days straight, then went out of town on a business trip *without* keeping said promises, then promptly dropped off the face of the earth after that. Haven’t heard from him since. Don’t miss him.

And it was somewhere around this time that I first read the butterflies article (see previous post), and I realized that what I was feeling for the business owner, wasn’t what I was supposed to be feeling when I found “The One,” anyway. I didn’t want to acknowledge that at the time, necessarily, but it was such a revolutionary thought – that idea that butterflies aren’t all they’re cracked up to be – that it hung with me, still, and I continue to keep coming back to that idea.

I was also supposed to go out with the artist a week or so before Kirk came to town. The artist texted me a couple of hours before we were to actually meet for the first time, and he told me he was sick and throwing up, and he’d explain later. Turns out he'd had a massive hernia rupture, and had to have emergency surgery, and he ended up being in the hospital for the next week! It seems things happen for a reason, though – I never did actually meet up with him.

Because I met Kirk.

And let me tell you: he absolutely *is* worth writing about.

He's awesome.

We have talked on the phone almost every night this week for at least two hours, each time, and we text back and forth several times each day. One of the things I love the most is that, every time we talk, I laugh. And not just polite little chuckles or whatever - but great, big, belly laughs. And, he just...gets me. We have soooo much in common, it's spooky. And being such a “word girl” at heart, I love that he is not shy at all about giving me words - telling me things to make me laugh, things he thinks I’ll think are interesting, the things he likes about me: he thinks it's cool that I'm smart, he's amazed at how I can write, he likes my values, etc. And he does it in ways that seem honest and real and sincere, and not smarmy and calculated or whatever. And I know that he is smart enough that if he were just out for a piece, he would have picked one geographically closer to him - HA!

I may have been smitten with the business owner. But the difference between that, and what I feel now, truly is what the piece about the butterflies described. I had butterflies before. I don't have butterflies with Kirk. Don't get me wrong - I get all tingly in various places when Kirk kisses me and stuff, for sure! - but when I think of being with him, of talking to him, of depending on him, of having a future with him, etc. - it all feels very....solid. Calm. Certain. Right. And I have *never* felt that with anyone - anyone! - before. Not even the ex.

Speaking of which – I was talking to a friend today and told her, essentially, what I just wrote, above. And she asked me, “Don’t you just want to call [the ex] and rub his nose in it that you found someone that makes you feel that way when he never could or would?” And I thought about it for only a half a minute, before I said, “There’s a part of me that would like to tell [the ex] that I finally met someone who actually makes me feel like he never did, except that (and this sounds *cray-zee*) I care for Kirk too much to use him just to take a dig at [the ex]. I could honestly not care less what [the ex] thinks or knows. It's enough for me that Kirk is in my life, period.”

Now, I know some of you are going to say, “Wait!! It has only been 13 days!” or whatever, but I honestly feel like it could be 13 months or 13 years, and it wouldn't matter. I have tried to put on the brakes and be "logical" and talk myself out of it, etc., etc., and tell myself it's just the honeymoon phase or I'm just infatuated or whatever, but there is a little voice in my head that is saying, "Girl, you know yourself better than that. That's not what this is, and you know it." And it is a very calm voice, too. Like, "Tell yourself that if you want to, if it makes you feel better, but at the end of the day, you know that this is it. That this was meant to be." Which is also strange - because the little voice inside my head is usually going all, "No! No! He wears a pinky ring!!" or, "Are you kidding me? He spends more time on his hair in the morning than you do!" or, "You only think you like him - eventually that thing on his nose is going to start bugging you," and I have to tell myself, "Oh, just give it a chance! You can learn to live with a pinky ring!" or whatever.

And that brings me to the latest: yesterday, the defense contractor systems engineer asked me out for this Saturday. I have just totally lost interest in all other guys – even the ones I used to kinda like and think "Mmmm, maybe there's a possibility's worth another date to see....," so I didn't really want to go. But on the other hand, it would be stupid of me to just sit around and pine for Kirk all the time if Kirk intended to go out with other women (I can see how you can be emotionally involved with someone long-distance, but could still want someone close at hand to be an occasional date or a buddy or companionship, whatever....).

So anyway, I said to Kirk, "I have kind of an awkward question to ask, and I'm not sure how to word it. I like things to be spelled out, defined, put in their boxes, so to speak. I've been asked out by someone I've dated a few times before, and I don't know what to say. I don't really want to go out with him – because of you. But if you're going to date other people, it would be foolish of me to say no and just sit home while you're dating - so what are your thoughts on us, on what we are to each other and the status of whatever we have between us?"

He basically said it was up to me - I could/should do what I wanted to do. And I said I knew that, but I really wanted his input, too, since I cared about how he felt about it. He said, "Well, you know, if you want to go on buddy dates or whatever, by all means, go ahead! I'd be OK with that."

"No, he likes me likes me - this wouldn't be a buddy date, at all!" I said. There was kind of a pause. “What would you do, if it were you?”

Finally, Kirk said, "Well, would *I* date? Am I going to date? No. I wouldn't. I couldn't feel about someone the way I feel about you, and go out with someone else. I've never cheated on anyone in my life and I'm not about to start now. So no, I'd have a hard time with that. But if you want to date or go out with other guys or whatever, I can respect your decision - but it doesn't mean *I'm* going to date."

So I said, "That's all I needed to know. I'll tell him 'no,' then."

He was so cute. "Whew!!” Kirk said. “That's a relief! When you first started this line of questioning, I thought you were just going to tell me, 'Hey, I'm going out with this guy and I hope you're OK with it,' and I just got this big knot in my stomach!"

But wait – he gets cuter, as if that were possible:

After he said that, I told him I cared about him too much to just go out and do that to him without talking to him about it first, which is why I wanted to have this conversation, awkward as it was, in the first place. And he said, "I've been thinking this for days, and I wasn't going to say it yet, but to hell with it - I'm just going to come out and say it: I love you. I love everything about you. Talking to you is the best part of my day, and every little thing I learn about you is just something more to love." A girl just couldn’t ask for a better first declaration, I swear.

I keep saying this, and I can't think of any better way to describe it: it just feels so "right." Very centered. Very secure, stable, solid, and real, in a very calm, knowing, sure kind of way. And I *truly* have never felt this way ever before.

So of course I told him I loved him back - because IT'S TRUE! - and then he told me this: when he got off the plane in Phoenix after getting back from Utah, his mom picked him and his brother up from the airport. They were getting in the car, and his mom asked, "How was your trip?" His brother said, "Really good!" and Kirk said, "I think I found the girl I'm supposed to marry." His mom said, "What?!?!" And he said, "In 40 plus years have I said that before?" and she just said, "Nope!" and smiled....and then Kirk says to me, "Oh, God!! I can't believe I just told you that!! How sappy am I?" And we laughed - I said, "Pretty sappy - but I love it!"

And I do. And I love him, too. And I know, I know, you want to go throw up now. Sorry.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sorry, I Can't Help It!! and The Butterfly Effect

Everyone has had those friends who, on occasion, are so disgustingly, sweetly, swoony and smitten that they just make you want to vomit, right? Well, I am apologizing in advance because, right now, I am that friend. I even make myself want to throw up a little.

See, I was crushing on Kirk pretty bad (see last post), I admit. But then, something happened that made it kinda go from a crush to...I don't know. A seriously major crush? A super-bad case of extreme like? I don't want to throw that other L-word around too lightly so I'm not going there yet, but...I'll just quit trying to explain it and tell you how I got there, instead:

Last week, the neighbors that live in my old house while The Ex and Mrs. Ex ("Cupcake") are in Iraq invited me to a "pants party" (it's like a Tupperware or jewelry or anything else party, only for clothes...) being held in, of course, my old house. I have been over there a couple of times before, and it hasn't really bothered me too much. But last night was the first time I've been in there in three months or so. Technically, I still own half of it - on paper, at least, and will until The Ex pays my equity out, which he is supposed to do by 12/31/09. And of course, all the furniture, etc., I had to give him as part of the divorce was in there, same but - different, and they'd painted and stuff before they left, etc. And not only had they just re-painted, which was to be expected, really, but some projects that I had wanted to do and was always told it was too much money or whatever, were, *of course,* now done. Which, I have to admit, kind of torqued me.

So, it was just one of those times where the whole craptasticness of divorce just snuck up on me - not so much missing him or my life then, because truly, I feel so much better/happier now I can't believe I lived for so long being only half as alive as I feel now. But more because I'd poured so much of myself into what had been my “dream house,” and now it wasn't mine anymore, and being confronted with the dishonesty and disrespect from someone you spent 20 years of your life with, all over again, etc.. So anyway, I came home feeling really wimpy and booby.

So I sent Kirk a text, and I just said, "Are you busy?" And he texts me back a few minutes later and says, "No, waht's up?" and I reply, "Can I vent/boob to you for a few minutes?" And he says back, "Sure." I am thinking as I am texting him this big, long, three-part text of the story I basically just wrote, above, about the house, that this will be a real test, of sorts - I am either going to totally scare him away, or overwhelm him, or he is going to think I am loony, *OR* he is going to be so sweet about it, I am going to fall head over any event, no matter how he reacts, it is going to tell me *alot* about him. So I am sitting there, texting the last of my big story, and the tears are just leaking out of my eyes because it just really shook me up (I absolutely HATE how those things sneak up on you – you go months and months and months thinking you are doing soooo good and then BAM!!).

Anyway, not 3 seconds later, my phone rings, and it's Kirk. I immediately start seriously crying because I was surprised and happy he called, and sad still because of the stupid house thing, and he just says, "I knew from the end of the second part of your text that this story wasn't going to be one of those with a happy ending, and that it deserved a phone call and not just a text back. I'm so sorry you have had to go through all this....what an asshole-ish thing for him to do. Granted, that’s not a real word and I just made that one up, but I can't think of a better one to describe him or what he’s done, and I just had to call you and try to get a laugh or a giggle out of you..." etc., etc. Anyway, he managed to not only say *all* the right things, but we ended up talking on the phone for three hours!! And then, when we *finally* hung up, he sent me a text that said, "I could talk to you for days. I hope this helped a little bit. You've sure made my last few days a lot brighter. Goodnight!" How stinkin' sweet is that?

Then, the next day, he sent me a picture of a piece of paper on which he wrote, “KO likes JL (a lot!) :)” How cute is that?

I recently read an article that talked about how many people think that the way they'll "know" when they've met their soul mate or whatever is that they'll get those butterflies in the stomach, and that you even have to have butterflies in the stomach when you meet "the one" or it's not "real," or whatever. This particular article talked about one woman, in particular, and how she always thought she should have "butterflies" when she met "the one." However, she just ended up having a string of one disappointing relationship after another.

She eventually decided to stop dating for awhile and was seeing a counselor for a variety of other reasons and in the course of her counseling, she mentioned this "butterfly" effect and how she thought she'd just "know" when she met "the one." Her counselor told her that what she was calling "butterflies" was really that these guys she had been seeing were making her feel uncomfortable/unbalanced, and she was mistaking that sort of "uncertainty" she was feeling in their presence for "butterflies."

So she took a while to digest this idea, and in the meantime struck up a friendship with a guy she met at her local coffee shop. She mentioned a book she needed for a project she was working on at work, and he brought her that book the next day. She mentioned feeling bad about something, and he surprised her with flowers. They never went out on a "date," per se, but one day, after about three months of being together and counting on him and him being there for her, etc., found that she *was* attracted to him and that she felt something even BETTER than butterflies: she felt security.

So I don’t know, exactly, what to call what I feel with Kirk: extreme like, swoony, smitten, or yeah, even security. There is, of course, the obstacle of living in two different states, but I honestly feel when something is right, its right, and you can find a way to make it work, if you’re committed enough. And I think I am. Now you'll have to excuse me - I think I just threw up in my mouth a little. ;)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The *BEST* Weekend...And Keep Your Fingers Crossed

I had soooo much fun last weekend! Primarily because I went to a BBQ/party thrown by an old school friend for another old school friend who moved to Arizona right after we graduated from high school, and who had only been back once since.

It didn't start out that great. I had stayed out too late on Friday, so I slept in on Saturday and didn't get nearly as much done as I wanted to, and was kind of behind the power curve all day. So, by the time I got to the grocery store, the liquor store, made the salad to take to the BBQ, got cleaned up, and got over there, I was running late and was more than just a little rattled, y'know? I really wished I would've had someone to go with, but I just had to show up by myself and walk in alone....

But anyway, when I got there, it was like when Norm walked into Cheers and everyone turned and said, "Norm!" I walked in and was immediately swamped. Everyone was like, "Joi Lin!" "I'm so glad you came!" "Hey, buddy!" "Can I have a hug?" "What are you drinkin'?" "Come sit over here in the shade!"

And it was awesome.

I haven't laughed that hard in soooo long - I mean, everyone was just BS'ing and telling stories and teasing each other and stuff, but it was just really cool.

And the best part was, I reconnected with someone from high school who, back in the day, I wouldn't have even thought twice about. I've known him since sixth grade, and never thought of him romantically before, ever - we just ran in different circles. He was always kind of a smart aleck, and I think I was a little bit intimidated by him. But guess what? After 23 years, you grow up some.

Anyway, he is *wicked* funny and really smart (he was actually in all the honors classes, etc., with me up through junior high, then he started partying and went that way, and I continued on the honors track....) and yet, way laid back and chill about politics, religion, etc. He's into music, which I like, and he can SPELL, which - I don't know why, but - I just think is hot, and he just had me in stitches all night. And then later, when I went inside to use the restroom, I came out and he was there, he said, "Can I kiss you?" I thought, "What the hell? Why not?" 'Cause there were some sparks there, and I was wondering.... So I said, "Sure!"

So he did, and it was awesome. Like, perfect from the very first moment. And he's like, the best kisser I can remember having kissed in a really long time. And I kind of think he must look at me and still see the drill team queen or something because he has that kind of adoration...I don't know. I just think it's pretty darn groovy. I am all about smart men who can make me laugh and are willing to adore me, at least on occasion, y'know?

The one down side to all this is that - yup, you guessed it - he was the guest of honor, who now lives in Phoenix. Leave it to me to fall for the one guy it would be most difficult to have any sort of lasting relationship with! But, he asked me if we could hang out together some on Sunday since he had to fly back home to Phoenix on Monday, and I said sure. I ended up going to Boston's to watch some football and have a few beers with him and his brother and a friend of ours from HS.

Now bear with me while I explain this: Phoenix guy is named Kirk, and his brother (who also lives in Phoenix) is Eric, and they grew up living next door to Sean, who is the same age as Kirk and me, and Sean's younger brother, Chad. Chad lives in Layton now, and is married to Lisa, but Sean just got a job here and had to relocate so for the moment, is living with Chad and Lisa. And then, when Kirk and Eric came to town, they stayed with Sean at Chad and Lisa's place.

Eric and our HS friend left Boston's before Kirk and I did. We stayed a little longer and just talked, and then I took Kirk back to Chad and Lisa's. Kirk walked in first and I followed about three steps behind him (I was just making sure the screen door didn't slam shut behind me...).

Chad and Lisa's house is kind of an open-plan layout so that there is a short entry hall, then a dining room straight ahead, with a kitchen on the right and a great room on the left. Kirk walks down the entry hall and emerges into the kitchen, where Lisa is making dinner. Chad, Eric, and Sean are watching TV in the great room - they can see me, still in the entry hall, but Lisa (and the kitchen) are out of sight. So, Lisa sees Kirk, but not me, and says to him (teasing, of course) first thing, "So, did you get laid?"

Of course, Eric, Chad, and Sean bust up laughing 'cause they can see me and know I heard her and know that she doesn't know I heard, and I couldn't help it - I cracked up, too. And Kirk - who is really quick on his feet - says, "Geez, Lisa, I might have had a chance, but I think you just ruined it for me - why don't you ask her?" And then he pulls me forward so Lisa can see me. Ohmigod - I thought she was going to pass out. She was just mortified!! It was heee-larious, though. I couldn't stop laughing.

Anyway, I had a really good time. Kirk and I just really clicked, right from the first. He kind of reminds me of that bad boy on the outside, good man on the inside, kind of thing, if that makes sense. It's just too bad he lives in Phoenix - but when he left he said he was already planning his return trip, because he definitely had a reason to come back. So I am kind of cautiously optimistic about this one...but the living in two different states is a pretty big hurdle. I guess we'll just have to see what, if anything, comes of it.... Keep your fingers crossed. Or say a prayer. Or sacrifice a chicken - whatever you think works best, in these sorts of situations.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I Should've Gotten A Puppy

No one ever thinks you’re serious when you offer to trade your children to them in exchange for a puppy, at least not when the children in question are teenagers.

And, since the twins turned 13 earlier this month, I am now officially the mother of three of those beastly little soul-sucking demons otherwise known as teens. That’s right – I no longer have any babies. No kids, no children left. All three of mine are now teenagers. And I really do think having a puppy would be easier. Case in point:

I had to stop at the grocery store yesterday to pick up a few things. I remembered a couple of weeks ago that one of the twins had mentioned she was out of "feminine hygiene products," but, being new to the whole regime, she is still a little embarrassed to talk about it. So, when she told me she was out, she told – no, that’s not exactly correct. She ordered me not to tell anyone. However, I couldn’t remember when, exactly, we’d had that conversation. Had I been to the store since then? Was she still out? Did I need to pick some up?

So as we passed by the "feminine products" aisle in the grocery store, and I was reminded me of the earlier conversation, I said to her, "Do you still" (caught myself just in time!) "...girl stuff?"

"Yes!" she hissed, rolling her eyes wildly from side to side, searching for evesdroppers.

"What kind?" I asked.

"The same kind as last time!" she said with great exasperation. Apparently she was also practicing her ventriloquism technique because her lips barely moved, despite the vehemence of her statement.

The other twin is looking back and forth between us as if she were following a tennis match, totally bewildered. Finally she asked what was going on.

"Oh," I said, "apparently, your sister is too embarrassed by normal human bodily functions to actually use appropriate biological terms, so instead we have to use code words."

"Oooohhhh," that twin said, understanding dawning.

"MOM!!!" the other twin wailed. I am still mystified how she managed to drag that word out into six syllables. "You promised not to tell anyone! You are SO rude!!" And off she stomped through the grocery store.

Well, I threw a package of said "girl stuff" into the cart and chased down Her Royal Highness, my Drama Queen, and proceeded to have a little chat with her about it being a perfectly normal, natural thing that no one even thought twice about, and that everyone there either had one, would have one, or knew someone who had or would have one, and that she was drawing more attention to herself by running away and flouncing off through the aisles of the grocery store while in high dudgeon than if she’d just treat it like it was no big deal.

“Well, you’re just rude,” she said.

Silly me. I then tried to explain how, in 40 years of life experience, I thought I might probably have a better idea about what constituted “rude” than she did in 13 years. Apparently, however, 40 years is just enough time to get really, really, stupid. Just ask her.

So, though I am not proud of it, I was getting so frustrated by her attitude and sass that I finally just said, "Oh, grow up!"

And she said, "Why don't YOU grow up!"

And I said, "I AM grown up!!"

I just wasn't acting *that* grown up, is all....

I think next time I will just go get on the PA system at one of the checkstands, and make the following announcement for everyone to hear:

“Attention, Shoppers!! [insert name here] Allen has officially joined the ranks of womanhood, and can now be found perusing the feminine hygiene products on aisle 23! Please congratulate her as you go by!”

Or, I will leave her at the store, and buy a puppy on the way home, instead.