I’m back! I know I promised I’d be more consistent with my posts but to be perfectly honest HRH Kate Middleton promised us another royal baby announcement by Christmas and here we are, 31 days from baby Jesus’ birthday, and nothing. Nothing. So forgive me if I’m not more consistent than the royal family. Forgive me.
As always, I have reasons. In no particular order, I have been:
1) still thinking about Kim Kardashian’s engagement and how she thinks she’s perfected the “I’m just fixing my hair, oh this old thing?” even though Kate started it and I copied.
3) seeing the midnight showing of Catching Fire with 3 other adults and 200 high school kids (don’t worry, we were first in line. Sorry, kids, age before people who didn’t read the books.)
4) decorating my office for Christmas so I feel less depressed while I’m there (it’s an experiment, and the control group is every day of the rest of my life)
5) staring at my new iPhone because after a year without one, a lot has changed and I absolutely need to read the entire internet before it’s too late
6) choosing bridesmaids dresses! Wahoo!
8) Getting my tweet favorited by Mindy Kaling. Natch.
So. I’ve been busy. But please don’t get jealous. Those other blogs mean nothing! I thought about you the whole time!
Obviously the reunion was the biggest thing that’s happened so far this month, though my new champagne iPhone which matches my wedding and yes that is the primary reason I picked it is a close second and we can talk about that later. I was flipping through my yearbook before the big reunion night and, as you may be aware, I graduated in the year when it was very important that everyone KEEP IN TOUCH and NEVER CHANGE and that we all loved each other like SISTERS or at least, you know, commented on each other’s pictures on Facebook once in a while. “Never change,” people kept writing to me. Well, never fear, classmates. I still have hair frizz issues, it still took me 45 minutes to pick an outfit, I still have the gorgeous skin of an adolescent, and I still don’t know what to do with my arms in pictures!
Quick story about the adolescent skin thing: you must be thinking right now, “Oh, Sandi, you’re so self deprecating and funny and not at all serious. You look fine in your pictures!” Well, folks, I am sponsored by the Instagram filter that makes me look that way. Once I was in the mall and this man working at one of those carts who always see a sucker from a mile away calls me over. Of course I go, because in this story, *SPOILER ALERT*, I’m the sucker. He’s selling skin products, and this is his intro:
Him: Would you like to try my face lotion?
Me: No, I’m fine, thank you.
Him: Are you sure? How old are you?
Me: Why? How old do you think I am?
Me: You’re my favorite person in the world right now. I’m 28.
Him: Yes, I think you are 19 because of the pimples.
Me: Oh. Is this, like, a sales technique?
So. There’s that.
Cousins, before & after.
Anyway, the reunion. There was a good turnout, lots of jokes about teachers who didn’t show up (all of them), reminiscing about embarrassing things that happened in class, and everyone drinking together, legally, for the first time ever. But you know what? You’d think that Facebook would kind of make things easier, right? Like, you recognize everybody, and you kind of know what they’re up to, and maybe you liked a picture of their engagement ring or something so they know you still exist. But instead of making it more normal to talk to each other, it made things super awkward and more like meeting celebrities than seeing old friends. Like, “ooh, I know you from the internet!” and you’re thinking, how much do I know because you or someone else told me, and how much do I know because I stalked your Facebook so intensely that I ended up looking at pictures of your mother and her friends on a girls’ weekend in Atlantic City?
I said to Keenan, “I guess I should have prepared some questions in case things get awkward.” “Stick with family and work,” he suggested. “I already know all that stuff!” I exclaimed. “What do I ask them?!” So I started out with compliments but slowly we all slid down the slippery slope and started commenting on people’s children who we’d never met and weddings that we hadn’t attended. “I hear your son is sleeping through the night now,” I said to a person who I last saw bonging a beer at a graduation party. “I see that your morning commute is a nightmare.” I don’t think anyone asked me a question all night; they just commented on what they’d already seen. We were like a room of creepy stalkers, and it was socially acceptable to admit it. A Creepy Stalker Convention.
And I’m on the committee.
Ladies and gentlemen: I’ve been robbed.
I know. I can’t believe it either. Here I am, just having faith in humanity and trying to be a GOOD PERSON and doing what I’m supposed to do (except for registering my car; I still haven’t registered my car. AGAIN. Whatever.) and then I get a letter in the mail that HOORAY! I finally get picked for jury duty!
I imagine that your reaction to that statement is pretty similar to everyone else who I told this story to: you want to know why I’d want jury duty, as I’m apparently the only person in the country who actually wants it.
When I got the questionnaire, I knew all the ways to beat the system and not get picked: say you’ve been a victim of a crime, say you’re biased against people, say you work for yourself. So I did the exact opposite of that. I was the least victimized, most fair, less employed person in the world. I mailed that sucker in and then I just waited, and waited, and fantasized about the awesome people I would meet and the great opportunities I would have for talking people into taking my side of an argument (hello, dream come true), and picking out cute clothes for court, and maybe even a 12 Angry Men situation in which I, of course, was Henry Fonda. It’s my duty, NAY, my RIGHT, as an American citizen, and by God I wanted to report for duty!
But I wasn’t picked. They didn’t want me! I marched my heels and sensible pants and cheeky blazer (an excellent choice for the first day) into that courthouse and saluted the Judge and my enthusiasm just was too much for them, maybe. ”Stand down, soldier.” I could imagine them saying. “At ease.” Except that none of this happened, because now you can just log onto a website and type in your ID and find out that no, you weren’t selected, carry on with your day, don’t even show up, I don’t want to see your blazer. Soldier.
I was robbed. I deserved that spot, I earned it, and I bet you there’s some girl on that jury right now who didn’t even WANT to be there, probably isn’t even listening to the proceedings and has probably never seen one episode of Criminal Minds and, not to be catty, but she probably isn’t even wearing heels. That girl robbed me. So THAT dream was shattered.
THEN! I was robbed again. Only this time, I was really and truly and ACTUALLY robbed! Can you even believe this?!
Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Sandi and I am the worst bride in the world. I have been doing exactly nothing in lieu of looking for bridesmaid dresses. My mother has tried her best to be super un-annoying about it and therefore has only asked me roughly nine thousand times if I’ve thought of any ideas for dresses for the girls. So the other day I’m on Facebook
playing level 99 of Candy Crush doing something very serious and important when what do I see but an ad for a bridesmaid dress shop! A few people have actually mentioned it to me and it turns out it’s completely adorable and one of the first places I’ve found with dresses I can imagine being in my wedding. I order a few swatches to try out some color options and 2 dresses which, I confirm, are fully refundable. I am super excited and finally feel like I didn’t just invent a nonexistent dress in my head which I’ll never, ever find, which is ordinarily the story of my life. I am elated. I am ecstatic.
Two days later the bank calls. Did I purchase items from a baby & infant boutique in Hong Kong? Um, no. No I did not. Unfortunately, however, my bank statement says otherwise.
“I cannot believe this!” I exclaim to the bank lady. ”I am a victim of fraud!” I couldn’t stop exclaiming that. It all just seemed so serious when you threw the word “fraud” in there. ”I’ve been robbed! And I am not an idiot! This website looked legit! Do you want to log on and see for yourself?!” She does not. ”I promise you I don’t fall for things like this. I’ve never, like, sponsored an Egyptian princess after reading an email forward or anything. I’m smart.” I actually said this. Then I immediately prayed she wasn’t Egyptian, a princess, or my mother or aunts who actually spent the better part of the early 2000s sending those email forwards around.
I did eventually get my money back, but what a debacle – not to mention the fact that my dream bridesmaid dress is now officially GONE and I’m back to square one. Had this happened before the jury duty paperwork arrived, I would have HAD to check the “victim of a crime” box, because a liar I am not. So thank God for the timing of this little nightmare. Silver lining!
I know what you’re thinking. Yes, it’s true I’ve been a little lax on the blogging lately. But in case you weren’t aware, we threw my parents a 30th surprise anniversary extravaganza
nightmare party, and that was last Saturday, and it has taken me exactly 192 hours to recover from that, and now here I am, back and better than ever. You’re welcome.
We invited 70 people to our house and just kind of conveniently forgot to plan how to get my parents out of the way for 3 hours in order to set up and get everyone here and then shush them for 45 minutes and then yell “Surprise!” and also “I’m sorry there are so many people in your house!”
I was a total lunatic throughout the planning and even worse than that during the day OF the party. My parents predictably refused to leave the house until 4:55pm and the first party guest showed up at 5:02pm. By the time more people started arriving, almost nothing was ready and I had literally sweated through my dress. My sister pointed this out to me and I almost died. ”What is this?!” I thought, panicked. ”Is my body actually CRYING from the exertion of this party planning?!” People started asking me what they could do to help and I was actually giving them assignments and they were all shooting each other nervous glances and I’m pretty sure they were saying to each other, “I talked to her a few weeks ago and she seemed ok and then she had this whole party to plan, and now I guess she’s on crack.”
It was horrific, but my mother cried and my dad yelled “WHAT DA HELL” when he saw us all in the backyard, so really it turned into quite the big success.
Then I got the flu for 3 days, which was awesome, and at one point on Monday I actually had the thought, “What if I die? What if I actually die? That will be so embarrassing. I have to clean out my car.” I mean, it’s bad enough that if I had died on Monday I would need to be posthumously published. I don’t need to be posthumously judged, too.
But then I got better, and my car’s still a mess. So. YOLO.
It’s been a big week for my family.
The other thing I did in the past week is attend both my brother’s art show at SJU and my sister’s concert at the Trocadero. If you want to think of something hilarious, try to picture me in hoop earrings and heels while surrounded by artsy fedora people with strong opinions about life and art and, I don’t know, probably my smoky eye makeup. Philip & Carol were phenomenal but I couldn’t help but observe the way that my mother & I looked like “hey, who brought the chaperones?” at the concert and finally I just gave up trying to look cool and obscure and just took out my crappy Blackberry and started pretending to text someone, while really I was just typing funny comments about the people around me that I could use in my blog later.
My mother and I went to my sister’s show alone because we’re really cool and don’t need a crowd to prove it. The man at the front desk collecting money looks like the UnSub in about 12 episodes of Criminal Minds, and he’s clearly judging us for being old and also probably for my choice to wear a blazer unironically to a concert venue. We settle in to our seats and in walk 50 other people who are wearing carefully constructed outfits that scream I just rolled out of bed, I don’t care, I don’t care, I made this necklace out of organically grown hemp and an old button, I don’t care, these shoes are actually ace bandages, this tshirt was 42 dollars at Urban Outfitters, whatever.
I shopped at Urban Outfitters once. I thought it was a thrift store. Then I realized the scarf I had in my hand cost 97 dollars and was hand sewn by a conscientious objector and her shirtless boyfriend. So I put it down and went to H&M instead. Those Europeans really know what they’re doing with the discount clothing.
So, back at the venue, everyone was drinking either PBR or warm craft beer. Everyone had on
tshirts that may or may not have been preowned. They’re all in a competition to see whose hair looks the least high-maintanence, and they’re all winning. I was waiting for someone to break out the clove cigarettes and an old instamatic camera when finally, finally, another person with hoop earrings showed up. It’s my cousin. Phew. But these heels were clearly a mistake. I look like I care way too much. Hanging out with a bunch of 20 year olds is the fastest way to feel bad about wearing brand new clothing purchased at a reputable store without a go-green motto. Sorry I didn’t wear a recyclable trash bag out tonight, guys. Thought I’d go with skinny jeans and heels. My bad.
I settle in to fake-text my friends and play a rousing game of Hipster or Homeless. I can picture them having a conversation before heading out for the night: “No I can’t afford any clothes, no I can’t afford any clothes! ” Listen, you guys, the economy is crap. NONE of us can afford any clothes. But you don’t have to flaunt it. Plus I know that shirt just looks pre-worn. It’s probably more expensive than mine.
Carol puts on a phenomenal little concert and I sufficiently humiliate her by taking pictures from every possible angle, including kneeling on the ground, which in retrospect was probably unnecessary and also kind of embarrassing to me as well as to her. Like, relax, lady, you don’t work for the school paper. Grab an IPA and have a seat. Once Carol is done, we decide to stick around to hear the next band and get exactly one song in before my mother looks incredibly confused and disturbed. ”Why aren’t there any instruments?” she screams into my ear. ”They don’t play instruments,” I yelled back. ”It’s an electronic band. They play computers.” I saw the look on my mother’s face, and I could read her expression and I knew exactly what she was thinking: I could have gotten up there and played Candy Crush for 45 minutes for a $10 cover charge.
So that’s a week in the life of Sandi. Other than that, my big excitement has been trying to avoid Downton spoilers but K. Middleton keeps texting me every Sunday night like clockwork (jk Kate! Call me girrrrl!) and I just don’t know how I’ll make it to January without seeing how the Dowager is doing when all my pals over the pond are enjoying it as we speak.
Life is hard.
Last night was the first time my yoga pants actually got to go to yoga, and I don’t want to speak for them, but I do believe they found it if not exactly better, certainly different from their typical job, which is being on my legs while I sit on the couch and do absolutely nothing.
The class is every Monday at 5:30 and it started last night. Of course I was required to get there at 5pm because not only did I forget to pay for the class OR register for it, I haven’t seen my yoga mat since somewhere around last summer, when I was super into pretending that I was super into yoga. So I had to spend 15 minutes digging it out of my trunk.
I joined with my friend Sara and this was the most fantastic idea she has ever had, as we spent every year from pre school all the way through college graduation in school together, and parted ways only in grad school, and thus haven’t had a class together since 2006 and it was definitely high time for THAT reunion. We were, predictably, overachievers in school, and I suspected we would be nothing less in yoga class, despite our combined lack of coordination and athleticism and ability to just SHUT UP and stop talking in class.
We lay out our mats and survey the room, at which point we realize we are the youngest by at least 20 years. Our sports-related self esteem instantly skyrockets, if you consider yoga a sport, which we now do. We are ready. We have our matching purple mats. Sara and I have on Nikes that match both each other and said mats. Headbands, check. Yoga pants, check. Clear eyes, full hearts, pink shoes.
The instructor bounds in on the balls of her feet and an energy level that I only reach after a pretty big Starbucks pumpkin spice latte (their coffee is seriously rocket fuel. Relax, Starbucks). She instantly informs us that she focused primarily on matching breathing with moving, and I start to panic that I won’t be able to time my breaths with hers and move my arms and legs at the same time. But before I can fully work myself up to that fear, a new fear takes its place; because our Yogi wants us to introduce ourselves.
We get to say our name, and why we’re here, and what we want to work on, of course, because God forbid we just say our name and move on. I prepare myself for the instructor to mix up Sara’s and my name for the entire duration, as everyone always does, despite her being 6 inches taller than me and us looking absolutely nothing alike. I then begin to agonize over what to say in response to these questions. I look at Sara. ”Why are we here?” Sara has a 12 week old baby. That seems like an excellent reason to want to relax. She is SO lucky to have this built in response. I obsess over the right answer and think “cute yoga clothes” is not the one and almost settle on naming specific celebrity bods I plan to emulate via this 10 week beginners yoga class taking place in an AP government classroom at the local high school.
When I realized people were saying things like “rheumatoid arthritis” and “prevent the loss of flexibility as I age” and not, like, “I want to look better in my skinny jeans,” it occurred to me that I needed to improvise. In fact, no one mentioned weight or working out at all, except me. After a great deal of soul searching and censoring my true desires, even I copped out and said something vague like “relaxation and exercise,” an answer which no fewer than 3 women promptly stole when it was their time to check in. I see nothing wrong with saying that I want to be long and lean and toned, but apparently that’s a pretty lofty goal for a once a week yoga class in which I unroll my mat next to a woman who excitedly informed us that she received a senior citizen discount.
Jennifer Aniston literally eats nothing but freshwater fish and organic celery and I’m over here stretching on a yoga mat I bought at Five Below next to a life size cutout of Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton preparing myself to have her exact same legs in 2 months flat.
Right. Because, as I mentioned, we’re in an AP Government classroom, and there are 4 life-sized presidential nominees made of corrogated cardboard watching over us, judging our down dog and happy infant and warrior 2 poses. We spent most of the class with the strange feeling that Barack and Hilary were leering at us from the corner, and when the class was asked to face the right hand wall, we realized that George W. was grinning from the corner in an expression that could only be interpreted as “Giddyup, ladies!” Oh, and that one gentleman. Welcome to the class, sir.”
The instructor tells us we should be clearing our minds, and thinking about our feet on “the earth,” and breathing audibly, and opening our hearts while pulling our tailbones downward and our spines to our bellybuttons and letting the day drip out of our foreheads, but it’s really hard to get out of your own head, it turns out. We’re supposed to be centered and zen-like and serene but I find myself daydreaming about Keenan saying to people, “This is my fiancee, she is really into yoga” and people saying “WOW, she sure is long and lean!” and me just smiling demurely in my best Kate Middleton impression and then doing the tree pose with my head pointing up toward my branches and, if you’re finding that SUPER EASY, keeping my eyes closed.
Things I was thinking about during yoga:
1) Trying to breathe through my nose despite having an upper respiratory infection.
2) How my legs look in my yoga pants.
3) How many texts I’m missing since I left my phone in my car in a moment of
6) How much weight I’ve already lost since the beginning of class.
7) You spend your entire life knowing not to be a mouth breather and then she tells you to breathe like you’re trying to fog a window, and how am I supposed to handle that?!
8) STOP THINKING STOP THINKING STOP THINKING STOP
9) OMG. Did I stop thinking?!
Things we were supposed to be thinking about, according to the incredibly flexible and perky yoga instructor:
It’s harder than you think. So Sara & I are powering right along, doing the stretches and poses and I was actually feeling quite smug, so when the instructor said things like “if this is feeling easy for you, try this modification” and we were even doing those. At one point the instructor was walking around the room giving people advice and when she stopped at us, she said in a whisper, “You girls can do it THIS way. This is an advanced pose. You’ll be able to do it.” And I just cannot help it. I look at Sara and grin like we got the two highest grades in our biology tests, because we’re WINNING. We’re yogis! Look at us go!
Toward the end of the class, when I am feeling so long and lean that I actually think for a moment that I am taller, the instructor (clearly, I missed her name, as I keep calling her that) begins to talk with the class about likely being Type A and that’s why we seek out yoga classes to relax. I instantly begin thinking that I most certainly am NOT Type A, that I am going to be the BEST at not being Type A in this entire class, that I am just going to focus on being the BEST yoga class participant she ever had and that maybe I’ll end up being REALLY into yoga, and doing it EVERY SINGLE DAY after work, and I’ll be so fit and toned that people will ask my secret, and I’ll be so relaxed that nothing will bother me, and the instructor will offer me to co-teach classes with her, and THEN she’ll see that I’m nothing like a Type A person at all, at all, EVER!
OK. I see where she’s going with this.
So she ends on the recommendation that we all “join in the om.” The panic of the day that I’ve been supposed to be letting go of instantly returns, because are we really all going to say om with her?! Is this like another religion or something? Am I breaking some sort of rule here? Are we going to — “OOOOOOMMMMMMMM” announces the class. I sit in silence. I can’t commit to the om. Obama is staring at me and all the lights are off and I’m just grateful my socks match. ”Namaste,” the instructor says to us. ”Namaste,” I say to Hilary Clinton in her muted pantssuit.
I wonder if I look like Jennifer Aniston yet.
It’s September 17, and you know what that means! Happy 1 year minus 1 day anniversary of my blog, to me! AND, to YOU, because, no doubt, this has been the most sporadically entertaining and hilarious year of your life.
Oh. And, if you recall from my first post ever around this time last year, happy THIRTY YEAR anniversary to my parents tonight, which I guess is of equal importance, depending on your perspective. Yep, 30 years! Pretty cool because you don’t hear too much about that anymore, I guess because by that point most wives have chosen to murder their husbands and/or make them start living in the shed out back (which my dad actually would love to do, because he built it and none of us have ever been in there but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a couch & a fridge & a flatscreen with one channel: RedZone). So that’s great. Happy anniversary, you guys! Thanks for being the only people who still laugh out loud at my blog. And special thanks to my dad, who I’m pretty sure thinks this makes me a published writer, even though in reality I don’t even get paid for those little ads that occasionally pop up on my page. Living the dream!
An aside: Despite the fact that he hasn’t been seen doing much of anything since, you know, whenever, Seinfeld made 32 million dollars last year. Meanwhile I’ve made only a small fraction of that and for all you mathematicians out there that fraction is 0/0. Because this blog is free and also incidentally not a book. Sorry, college self.
Anyway. In honor of my one year blogging anniversary, I give you a commentary of a very important, controversial topic I heard on a serious, reputable AM radio news station this week on my drive to work. And by AM, I mean FM. And by serious and reputable, I mean Q102. Because nothing says serious journalism like a guy named Elvis. Regardless, you might be interested. So keep on reading. Remember, it’s free.
Have you heard about the new law they’re trying to pass requiring a person to wait 24 hours after making an appointment to get a tattoo?
So we’re just giving up on actually passing useful laws then?
I don’t have any tattoos, because I could never decide on one. I’ve gone back and forth between wanting one and not wanting one since I was a sophomore in college, when Sara & I went to a South Street tattoo parlor, looked at some ideas, told the guy we’d “think about it and come back,” which we did, and which we are still doing, 9 years later, because we are nothing if not thoroughly contemplative.
But even though this law doesn’t quite apply to me, I still have an opinion on it, because if you have learned one thing about me via this blog, it is that I have an opinion on everything. And my opinion is this: I don’t care if you make a stupid decision that impacts absolutely no one, including yourself in most cases. Unless you get, like, your neighbor’s face tattooed over your own, I can’t see this becoming a life altering decision that we need to be making laws about.
And not that I’m a lawmaker, and not that I think I could do any better, but if they don’t call this law Think Before you Ink, I quit everything.
So in honor of that ridiculous conversation taking place in Congress while we’re all simultaneously wondering about important things like if we’re going to bomb a country or improve the economy or get mad at Miss America for being too beautiful AND smart, and in honor of anniversaries, which signify permanent things like my parents being married and also my blog never becoming sentient and developing itself into a book and finding itself a publisher, I give you:
10 Ways to Use the 24 Hour Tattoo Law:
1. Spelling & grammar check. There’s no autocorrect for tattoos, kids. Nothing says “I’m an idiot, PERMANENTLY”, like a permanently misspelled permanent tattoo!
2. Get a translator. Sure, the tattoo guy TOLD you that Chinese character means Faith, or Peace, or Love. But it’s more likely that they realize you don’t speak Chinese, and you just got the character for Stuffed Animal on your ribs. FOREVER.
3. Ask your girl/boyfriend if they’re definitely really serious about this relationship. Maybe you don’t want to get a tattoo of your girlfriend of 3 weeks’ name and then have to pay to get it removed when you catch her holding hands with some other guy in the produce aisle. Maybe.
Facebook relationship status: It’s complicated.
4. Google it. If there’s a picture of it in a Buzzfeed article, people are already making fun of you. Don’t do it.
5. Give the tattoo artist an eye exam.
Go Steelers! Also, optometrists.
6. Make sure the tattoo artist is, in fact, an artist.
Is this what your baby looks like? Probably not. Unless your baby was drawn by a 4 year old.
7. Review: “Am I in an actual tribe?” If no, proceed to “do not get a tribal tattoo.” If yes, proceed to “do not get a tribal tattoo.”
8. Repeat after me: “I am not a Lisa Frank folder.” Unicorns are a no. Always, always a no.
9. Ask yourself, “Is this tattoo hilarious?” If yes, do not get it. Hilarious things are usually hilarious because they are not tattooed on your forehead for all eternity. You want hilarious, watch Mean Girls.
This actually is kind of hilarious. But I bet it won’t be on his honeymoon.
10. If all else fails, go with the Phoebe Buffay.
We did it. We took the next step in our relationship.
Mom, Dad….we’re getting a blender.
We registered! And it was so, so fun! Because, as it turns out, registering is like FREE SHOPPING!
Over the course of 4 agonizing days, 3 in person and 1 online, we did it. And we’re almost done. We just can’t decide on silverware, because, obviously, this is a massive, life altering, SOUL DEFINING decision, and we don’t want to rush it.
Meanwhile, Keenan bought my engagement ring on a Tuesday and proposed 2 days later, but sure, it should definitely take us 3 weeks to decide on forks and spoons. AND KNIVES, Keenan wants me to add. And knives. The weight of a knife really says something about you, says Keenan. It says, we’re here to party, or we take this dinner thing seriously, or, sit down, stay a while. And all this time I thought it said “We’re serving steak tonight” or maybe even “We’re serving something you shouldn’t have to cut, but Sandi’s not too great with temperatures yet so you’ll need this knife.”
I make fun of the knife thing, but really Keenan’s been a phenomenal registry assistant over the past few weeks. Why is it taking us weeks to do this? Why did we go to three different Macy’s just to make sure we didn’t make a mistake? Why do I know how to program one of those gun-things now? Why did we register for no fewer than 7 cutting boards?
Because this is serious. This is our LIFE. And we’re having trouble determining who we are, as defined by housewares. What’s our style? What kind of picture are we trying to paint here? And what do these cutting boards say about us? What will people think when we pull them out to chop vegetables or cut meats or serve, I don’t know, whatever it is people serve on cutting boards? Fine cheeses? Will they think, wow, those are distinctive, as Macy’s promised? Will they comment to their friends, whoa, did you notice, Sandi & Keenan’s cutting board is from the Crate & Barrel Shindig collection? I didn’t even know we were attending such a shindig until I saw that they went with that collection!
No. All this work, hours of opening up each website and comparing the cutting boards side by side and emailing Keenan pictures of different ones all day which he blatantly ignores, and you know what they will think? “Oh, a cutting board. I’ll bet they cut things on that.” End scene.
My friends think I’m insane. Brynn texted me after a long day of registering, “I hope you picked a good cutting board. You don’t want people talking.” I knew she was kidding, kind of, but I still turned to Keenan in a panic. ”You don’t think people will talk about our cutting boards, do you? Because I still really like that dark bamboo Martha Stewart one, even though it doesn’t match the acacia one from Bed Bath & Beyond. And I can’t believe they’re making us register for those awful plastic ones that prevent cross-contamination. I wish we knew what our knives looked like.”
So we’re pretty stable. Yeah, we’re doing great.
Our friends Brynn & Todd had us over for a Labor Day barbecue on Sunday, and we went over there straight from registering. Well, first we ran to the grocery store to grab some things to make a quick Death by Chocolate dessert, thereby triggering a total mental breakdown in the store that went something to the tune of: What if we had to make this dessert in our own house? What if we weren’t going to use my mother’s container to bring it? What would we serve this in? What would we bring it in? Did we get anything that we could serve and bring Death by Chocolate desserts to our friends and family?!?!?! Do we need to start again?!?!
So when we finally get to Brynn’s, after a quick internet interlude during which I added a trifle bowl and glass cake stand thing with a lid (registering for more things is my Xanax), we are high on
life Kitchenaid mixers. Adorably pregnant Brynnie is an amazing hostess, throwing me into a panic again, because where did she get all this stuff?! I mention this and we begin an in-depth conversation with Brynn, Todd, and their friends who just got married in December and are also there for the barbecue. They want to know what else we picked. ”We got an awesome vacuum,” Keenan boasts excitedly, sounding for all the world like he’s describing a basketball play. ”DID YOU GET THE DYSON?!” Mike shrieks, “The purple one?!” ”We did!” we exclaim, “and we don’t even have pets! IT’S JUST SO LIGHTWEIGHT! THE SUCTION IS INCREDIBLE! IT’S GOT THE BALL!!!!!!!!!!”
We are freaking out. We’re shouting at each other like we’re at an Eagles game, screaming KITCHENAID and MARTHA and SOLID OAK COFFEE TABLE like we’ve never seen home furnishings before. We are so excited and all of a sudden I realize how strange this is. Keenan is quizzing Mike & Ashley on their registry mistakes (“What did you choose that you don’t use?! What didn’t you choose that you still need?!?!”) and I whisper to Brynn, “Do you hear this conversation right now? We are really, really old.” ”I know,” she whispers back, “but did you see Ashley’s deviled egg container? We really need that.”
Later that night, I recount the surreal nature of this whirlwind conversation to my mother. ”Why the heck are we all so excited about sales at Crate & Barrel? Why did I ask Brynn to see her dishes? Where did you get that amazing Corningware I borrowed tonight? Why do I care? Why do we ALL care? Why were we talking about China and crystal?”
My mom laughed like she knew this was going to happen. ”Because you don’t have kids,” she responded.
OMG. Were we supposed to register for KIDS?!
Kate is back.
As if she had ever really left.
Here she is, looking utterly fabulous and stunning, pushing a shopping cart across a grocery story parking lot at some enchanted shopping center in Wales.
Quick quiz. I have never in my life:
a) Looked that amazing at a grocery store
b) Looked that amazing pushing a shopping cart
c) Been so incredibly jealous of someone wearing a regular sweater and jeans
If you didn’t guess “all of the above,” you’re not paying attention.
You just know that shopping cart did not have even ONE wheel that turns in the opposite direction while you push it. Of course.
This picture singlehandedly revived my obsession with thinking “What would Kate do?” while getting dressed each day.
It’s a surprisingly easy strategy that, I think you’ll find, will guarantee to have you weeping tears of insecurity every morning of your life, because good luck looking anything like Kate Middleton, ever. I could buy that exact same outfit she’s wearing in that picture up there (except I can’t, because I can’t shop again EVER) and I could wear a Kate ponytail wig, and I could even get those reusable shopping bags, and yet I’d still look like a 19 year old girl and horizontal stripes just don’t look like that on ANYONE. It’s like they changed their optical illusion waist-widening properties just to grace the sweater Kate is wearing. My sister said my motto WWKD doesn’t work because “she looks more…..designer…and you look more…Gap.” ”Excuse me, ” I responded, “This sweater is from TARGET.” ”Target’s cheaper than Gap,” she reminded me.
Life is hard.
So yesterday I look at this picture for motivation again and then I think, What Would Kate Do? What would she wear? That works when you’re going to work some days, or a posh dinner party in a London flat, maybe, I assume, but the trouble is when more challenging scenarios come up, because what would Kate wear to her 17 year old brother’s high school football game? We really just don’t know. I assume she’d look perfect and flawless and waiflike but here on our side of the pond it’s August and humid so I opted for my typical August look and wore my hair in a kind of “space helmet of frizz” look which really does things for my cheekbones, not to mention my self esteem.
I really did go to my brother’s game last night, which is the first time I’ve been to a high school football game since, well, high school, and he goes to the same school I attended, and it was a weird, flashbacky feeling especially because, as I mentioned, I am on the 11 year reunion committee and have been talking to lots of people from high school, and the whole thing was just strange. I felt super old and the kids wouldn’t get out of our way while we were walking and didn’t even say excuse me and the girls were wearing the shortest shorts I’ve ever seen and bumping right into us and I was about 3 seconds from watching myself yell at someone to GET OFF MY LAWN, and then I got to the bleachers and realized that the students were doing a white out, and of course I wore a white shirt too, thereby turning myself into an old lady alum who wants to fit in with children, and in retrospect I guess nothing has changed from high school except I’m no longer wearing white eyeliner and velour dresses with butterflies all over them (winning!).
You know what else? High school kids are young. I mean YOUNG. Keenan & I had suspected that perhaps kids aren’t getting younger, we are getting older, back when we watched an episode of Real World and Keenan exclaimed, “Wow, they’re really letting young kids on this show now. I thought you had to be 21?!” And then we googled it and realized that those “kids” WERE 21, he was just 30, and that’s how I felt at this football game: who are all these eleven year olds, and who let them into high school? All this time I could have sworn I haven’t changed a bit since high school, meanwhile, I’m an adult and they probably all thought I was a teacher when I walked by.
Kate does not have these problems.