Thursday, July 31, 2008

Part Six: D&TT

You poor, poor people who have been waiting on the edges of your rolling computer chairs for me to finish this story. You've probably fallen off, or rolled on to better blogs by now (as if).

*warning, this is long, and full of 90s terminology, but I was too lazy to edit it down, and I just want to be done with it. Sheesh!

So, when I left off, Jeremy was interviewing me for the position as his wife for all eternity, dumping me, changing his mind, and expecting me to be his girlfriend again come sunrise, no questions asked... and I was obliging him. And only eating plain oatmeal and licorice.

Even though I would never admit it, I was feeling pretty bad about myself at the time.

Cause if I had admitted it, I'd look pretty pathetic, right? And that would only add to the humiliation of it all. So I acted like it was no big deal. I never cried when he broke up with me (till the end); most of the time, I wouldn't even mention it to my friends or family, and by the morning, we'd be a couple again, no harm done.

For all outward appearances, I was a positive, happy, accepting, go-with-the-flow, suspiciously thin girlfriend for Jeremy, but on the inside, I began to resent him. I did nothing to warrant the constant rejection.

I have since realized it was never really about me. It was all about Jeremy. I was just a player in the video game called The Legend of Jeremy Cla. I kept dying, but then he'd give me an extra life. It was only a matter of time before it was... GAME OVER.

Anyway, when we hung out at Jeremy's place, we'd stay in the "living spaces"--I never went back to his room. He could have had a huge Andy Warhol of himself plastered all over the wall and I wouldn't have even known. (<--that was a mean spirited jab).

But my point is, one day, I followed one of Jeremy's roommates (he had three, I've only mentioned Wade so far) into uncharted territory when he insisted on taking me down the hall into his room to show me his giant jar of change (the guy was a total flirt--Amy can confirm).

Awkwardness, awkwardness, awkwardness 'cause he's flirting with me, and I start faking interest in all the pictures lining the hallway. They're all Wade's pictures (it was his house, remember), and one in particular catches my eye.

I'm like, "Who's that?" to Brian (that's his flirty roommate), and he moves closer than necessary to see the picture, and then tells me, "That's Wade's little brother. He's in Brazil on a mission."

I'm thinking, Ol'e (that's Portuguese for oo-la-la).

Brian breathes purposely close to my ear to give me chills and tells me something about how he mixes several colognes together in order to arrive at a scent that no woman has ever smelled on a man, but I only have eyes for Wade's little brother.

From that day on, every time I go to Jeremy's, I make a point to never be alone with Brian, but I also make a point to look at Wade's little brother who was on a mission. I look forward to it. I can't leave his house without looking at him. It's like when you see a car with only one headlight and you have to hit the roof of your car, or see a VW Bug and you have to call "slug bug" and punch whoever is next to you. It was like that. I had to look at his picture. Jinx. Buy me a Diet Coke.

Now, if you're clever (and I know you are), you've probably guessed by now that Wade's little brother is Anthony, and you've probably realized that I eventually married Anthony. I'm not saying that I knew at that moment, when I was gazing at his picture on the wall, that I would marry Anthony someday. I'm just saying that he caught my attention, and I had to look at his picture. Jinx. Buy me a Diet Coke.

The picture below is the same one I would look at. Anthony is the one off by himself--Olan Mills really knows how to pose a family picture.

Also, keep in mind that it was the 90s. Everyone in this picture looked "all that," "dope," and "fly" through my round, 90s glasses that were a bit too big for my face.

(Sorry about the blurriness of this picture. It's a scan of a wallet-sized picture, covered in stone-wash, tapered-jean pocket fuzz.)

Now's the part when Jeremy breaks up with me for the last time.

I knew it was coming. Did you?

That night, we had gone out with one of my BFFs, Heather (<--total spaz, had some of the best times of my life with her), and, though he liked Heather, I could tell he wasn't feeling us that night, if you know what I mean.

When he took me home, we got out of his car, started walking up to the front door, and he stopped me on the driveway. He shoved his hands in his back pockets and had this apologetic look on his face. I knew it was coming, and my stomach had that familiar sick feeling.

He says, "Today, in one of my classes, this girl asked me if I had I girlfriend."

I'm like, "What did you say," feeling horrible, knowing it's coming...

He assures me, "I was honest with her. I told her that I do have a girlfriend," he hesitates then says, "but I wanted to tell her that I didn't."

"Oh," I say, and my stomach hurt.

"So, I think we should break up," he says. "The fact that I wanted to say that I didn't have a girlfriend, makes me think that we aren't right for each other."

"OK," I say brightly, "No, don't apologize; you're right. It's all right. Don't feel bad. Thanks for telling me, blah, blah, blah..."

And then I give him a big hug and wish him luck!

Gag me.

Inside, I was a horrible wreck. It was just too much.

Now's the part when I cried.

I threw myself down on the landing of our staircase and cried. But I didn't cry for Jeremy. Promise. I didn't love him, I didn't want to marry him (could you imagine?), but he did have the uncanny ability to make me feel bad about myself. Just like Wayne and Garth, I was not worthy of him.

But this time, I vowed I would not take him back if he called in the morning... he didn't.

I knew he wouldn't this time. He had specifically mentioned that there was another girl he wanted to date.

I wonder if this is how he broke up with Angela. Something like, "Hey, there's this adorable little 17-year-old high school girl that I work with at Subway, and I want to ask her out, and the fact that I want to ask her out makes me think that maybe we aren't right for each other."

I mean, technically, Jeremy was doing the right thing. How noble. He wasn't a cheater. He broke up with me instead of sneaking around behind my back... but, truthfully, I expect nothing less. I don't give out awards for NOT cheating. He didn't have to give me the cold, hard facts about why he was dumping me, but it sure made him feel better about the whole thing.

Anyway, I bounced back from Jeremy relatively fast, because I chose to. Not that I didn't feel hurt or anger towards him from time to time (like right now), but I didn't want to feel that way, so I would chose to let it all go (like right now). We stayed friendly; I even went to his wedding, which was shortly after. No, he didn't marry that girl from his class, or Angela, just another girl that he met a few months later.

After we broke up for the last time, I went to tons of singles stuff with Heather and had the most fun. I dated a lot, played the field... this is where I got my rep as a playa ya'll, 'sup?

At the very end of the year, December 1995, I went to a singles dance with Heather. I'm doing the Macarena across the dance floor, and, suddenly, I see HIM. Yes, HIM. The guy from the picture that I used to stare at all the time. His skin was tanned and his hair sun bleached, as if he had just come home from Brazil or something.

Heather and I were introduced to him by our mutual friend, Shane, and I was all nervous and said something stupid like, "I know you." And he was like, "You do?" and looked right through me, not the least bit interested in me or what I was saying. But I kept saying stupid stuff anyway, like, "Is your brother Wade? I think I've seen your picture." And he is SO not interested.

In fact, he doesn't even remember meeting me at the dance. That's how little an impression I made on him.

Still, when the night was over, I was all fluttery and excited and couldn't wait to see him again, and Heather and I get in the car to leave, and before my door is closed, Heather said, "I like Anthony." My heart sunk. I was like, "Really? You do?" with his frozen smile plastered on my face. Her answer was an emphatic, "Yes."

She had essentially just called dibs on Anthony.

The whole ride home, I debated about whether or not I should tell her that I liked him too, but, in the end, I didn't say anything.

Hoes before Bros, I guess.

This is about what Anthony looked like the first time I met him, in different clothes though. Adorabibble!

I had a huge crush on Anthony from the moment I met him, but, as you've probably guessed, it was a LONG road before we even started dating. I'll have to tell you about it sometime. ;)

Two final notes about Jeremy then I'm done.

First, when Anthony and I got engaged, he brought me a gift (the gift was really a loan, and he made me promise to return it when I was done reading it). It was a book entitled Sacred Intimacy, that talks about how to properly make-love and please your spouse and junk like that.

Second, I ran into him before we moved to Las Vegas. I had Cord with me, who was one-year-old at the time, and Jeremy had his 3 sons, under the age of 3, with him.
His oldest son was named Jeremy. Go figure.

I'm a Mean Mom...

... but I had to post this picture.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Take Two... Then Take Three...

Our first attempt at homemade lollipops ended in a burnt, ugly, messy, hard disaster.

This is our second attempt...

I was worried about burning them... I didn't bring the temp up high enough...

...and they never hardened...

Not yum.

Then came our third attempt.

We used Banana extract, which turned our mixture yellow, and blue food coloring, which turned our lollies green. And...

...Success! Finally!

Green, banana-flavored lollipops! And Memzy, check out the sweet (pun) photo opps.!

Have an hour?

Want to be inspired? Go watch this video.

It's The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch.

You've probably heard of it, or seen the Primetime specials, but if you haven't watched the lecture, I highly recommend you do so.

I watched his lecture (the first time) at the end of last year, at a time when I felt kind of bad about myself because I wasn't accomplishing the things I wanted to accomplish most in life, yet I was very unmotivated to change anything. After watching it, I decided to focus solely on the one thing I wanted to accomplish more than anything for just a few weeks, and let everything else go.

Randy Pausch died last Friday. I watched the Primetime special on him last night, and then watched his lecture again. All that motivation I had at the beginning of this year is back. And I need it. Do you need it?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Winner and the Losers*


*Hayley left a comment after I had already drawn a name--sorry Hayley! You'll be in the next one. ;)


How do you know you’ve been slacking in your motherly duties?

The other day, I’m downstairs watching Project Runway when Homer comes down and climbs up beside me on the couch. I notice that he’s wearing a pair of Gus’s too-small underwear, rather than his usual Pull-ups.

“So, you’re wearing big-boy undies now?” I ask.

“Yeah,” he says.

“That’s cool,” I say, thinking, I'd better put a pair of Pull-ups back on him before he pees all over my couch oh my gosh Heidi Klum did NOT just say that...

The next morning, I go in Homer's room to get him up for the day, and I see that he had emptied his dresser drawer all over the floor, so I scoop up all his clothes, open the drawer, and what do I see? A stash of Gus's smallish underwear in Homer's top drawer. Hmm.

Then I wake up Homer, and I'm surprised to see that he is still wearing underwear, and, in fact, wore them to bed the night before, not Pull-ups… and he’s dry.

“You slept in big boy undies?” I ask.

He pushes past me, without answering, in a half-awake, sleepy state. I follow him as he staggers into the bathroom, lifts both toilet seats, and pees. He looks back at me over his shoulder, kinda wobbly, with his eyes half open, then he shakes it twice, tucks it back inside, flushes the toilet, and closes the lids.

“You’re peeing in the potty now?” I ask.

He pushes passed me, yawning, and stumbles downstairs to the kitchen. I follow him and watch him open the pantry, climb up the shelves, and retrieve a box of cereal, almost as big as him. Then he pushes a chair over to the cabinets, climbs onto the counter, and gets a bowl. Then he grabs the milk from the fridge, realizes that he’s grabbed the skim by mistake, puts it back, and grabs the 1%.

“Do you need help?” I ask, awkwardly.

He stares back at me with a blank look on his face, grabs the remote control, turns on the TV, and switches it to Backyardigans. He places the remote next to his bowl, and pours his own cereal and milk.

Kids aren't born with that kind of independence, they learn it over time when you stop doing stuff for them. It's like I always tell my kids when they ask for something, "I'm not your slave." And look how things have turned out. Homer potty trained himself, and makes his own breakfast. Next, he'll be able to survive in the woods by himself. And I'm the one who taught him those survival skills by allowing him to fend for himself.

In other news...

I drew the name for my contest and will post the results next.

Also, I might finish that story I started a while back today, you remember the one...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Smart Remarks: The Blue Castle...

**I want to humbly apologize for the obnoxiousness of my blog music lately. I listened to it last night while I cleaned my office and almost paper-cut myself to death.
I'll clear it and start from scratch.

Here, I'm going to shamelessly bribe you into commenting on this post.

I don't care whether or not you've read the book, or even if you read this whole post (yeah, and please don't pretend that you did if you didn't), just say something smart in the comments. I really want to believe that an online book club will work. So, anyone who comments will be entered in a drawing (a'la Amanda ;) for a $15 amazon gift card. In theory, you could use it to buy the next book, but if you're not a reader-type, it's enough for a scalp tickler. Now, go comment. Go on. WAIT, read this post first, then go.

Ah, the first book choice of the Smart Remarks' book club:
The Blue Castle, by LM Montgomery!

Did you like it? Did you actually read it? Are you gonna blog about it?

And which cover do you think better fits the book? This one:

or this one:

Yeah, me too.

If you didn't read it and want to know what it's about, here's the premise:

The Blue Castle is about an unmarried, 29-year-old woman who is treated horribly by her extended family and never stands up for herself, but then she learns she has less than a year to live, and that gives her the courage to turn the tables on them. She says everything she's ever wanted to say, goes to live-with and work-for the town drunk and his dying daughter, and then asks the "town scoundrel" to marry her. He feels sorry for her (so he's not really a scoundrel) and agrees to marry her, since she's dying anyway. But, see, there was a mix-up at the doctor's office, and the queer little thing isn't really dying...

Was this book plagiarized by Colleen McCullough?

If you've read The Ladies of Missalonghi by Colleen McCullough (one of my favorite books--I know my mom has because she recommended it to me in the first place), the plot similarities between the two books will SHOCK you. So many of the details are EXACTLY the same.

I couldn't help but think that McCullough had plagiarized Montgomery... what do you think?

Although the plot was very similar, there were a few important differences. In The Ladies of Missalonghi, the main character was genuinely sweet, humble, and likable. You were rooting for her from the first page. She lived with a kind mother and aunt who really loved her, and who were also mistreated by the extended family. In fact, their mistreatment seemed a whole lot worse than what Valancy had to go through because it was so calculated. All this made the ending so much more satisfying and sweet. I much prefer The Ladies of Missalonghi, and recommend you give it a try, despite my strong distaste for plagiarism.

So, what did I think of The Blue Castle?

The beginning was painfully slow, and it took a concentrated effort for me to stick with it. I instantly disliked Valancy. She complained about each and every family member, paragraph by paragraph, but she seemed to be "cut from the same cloth," if you know what I mean. I found her thoughts and opinions of her family nasty and rooted in jealousy, and much of it unwarranted.

After hurling a jar of potpourri out of her second story bedroom window in a fit, Valancy says, "I'm sick of the fragrance of dead things."

It's funny because at that point, I was sick of Valancy and wished she was dead.

Mongomery did create some clever dialog.

"People who dislike cats, " said Valancy, attacking her dessert with a reklish, "always seem to think that there is some peculiar virtue in not liking them."

Unfortunately, much of the clever dialog was overshadowed by my dislike for Valancy.

The story picked up about 85 pages into it, when Valancy went to live with Roaring Abel.

I think she lost some of her bitterness and jealousy when she began to care for Abel's dying daughter. She acknowledged that maybe there were people in this world who had been treated worse by society.

Ya think?

Around this time, Barney, the town scoundrel, enters the book. He was a likable fellow and he saved the book for me. I cared what happened to him, and I was curious about his "checkered" past. Although, I knew his past couldn't be as scandalous as the town believed, since he was the kind of man who would agree to marry a "queer little thing" out of pity.

Then came pages 150-174.

What can I say? I dry-heaved, laughed, and rolled my eyes through this whole section. The whole time, I kept thinking about this SNL skit. Please take the time to watch it, you won't regret it.

(Seen through Valancy's eyes, she is Virginia and Barney is Roger)

Then, suddenly, page 175, the story picked up and got interesting. I zipped right through the last 45 pages. The ending was neat and tidy--it might have been a little too neat and tidy for some people, but I was thankful for it. Everything came together beautifully. Valancy's family got what was coming to them, nothing over-the-top, and, for Barney's sake, it was satisfying from the readers point of view.

So, what did you think?

Read what Cristin had to say about it here.

By the way, I don't know if you noticed, but the book was loaded with unintentional, gay innuendos. Here are a few sentences taken out of context.
They're progressively more and more vulgar, so don't read them if you dislike vulgarity.

"Got your rubbers on?" called Cousin Stickles, as Valancy left the house.
("rubbers," meaning rain gear)

But then Valancy had never been queer before.
("queer," meaning behaving oddly)

"Nobody would molest me."
("molest," meaning bother)

And now every day was a gay adventure.
("gay," meaing happy)

It had once been a snug place enough in the days when Abel Gay had been young and prosperous, and the punning, arched sign over the gate--"A. Gay, Carpenter," had been fine and freshly painted.
(she actually admitted the sign was a pun. get it? "gay" means happy. get it?)

"I don't want you to make love to me, but I want you to act like an ordinary human being."
("make love," meaning to be deliberately and insincerely polite)

"She's feverish--she must be feverish," e j a c u l a t e d Cousin Stickles.
(...meaning "exclaimed." sorry about that one)

The Smart Remarks book for August will likely be Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer, as enough people have already declared it so.

It's the fourth in the Twilight series, and I know a few people haven't even read the first three books in that series (Mom and Michelle come to mind). Normally, that would disqualify a book for Smart Remarks book club, BUT I happen to know that both my mom and Michelle would go GOO-GOO-GA-GA for Edward... I mean, for the entire Twilight series.

So I propose that those who haven't read the series, read all four books in a month.
Is that too much to ask?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Steam Roller

I bought this steam roller set back in the 90s, used it once, and have been hanging onto it for years--because I'm a hoarder, maybe. Well, this morning, it kept falling out of my bathroom cabinet--which is stuffed with tons of junk like this--and I came very close to ripping all those little sponges off their plastic rollers and flushing them all down the toilet. But then I calmed down and decided to take a more peaceful approach.

Yeah, I used it.

These pictures were taken right after I took the rollers out, and the curls were a bit much for my taste, but they have since calmed down into a more natural, long-romantic-walk-on-the-beach-looking waves.

Homer took these off-centered, artistic after-shots...

and one in black and white...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Homemade Lollipops

The boys and I made homemade lollipops last night.


Let me know if you want the recipe.

Also, does anyone know how to get burnt, hardened lollipop off a glass bowl?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Part Five: D&TT

Right. Where did I leave off…

OK, we’re back from visiting Jeremy’s family. Things are as usual, and then he calls me up one day to give me a bit of surprising news. Wade (his roommate) had confessed that he had been dating a girl for the last few weeks… and she was Angela. Yes, THAT Angela.

Wade was concerned about how Jeremy might react to this news, but Jeremy was genuinely happy for them. He didn’t have any romantic feelings for Angela. To prove this, he insisted we all hang out together.

Awkward (<--read this in a high-pitch sing-song voice)

Have you ever hung out with another couple who was like twenty times as touchy-feely as you and your date/boyfriend/husband, and at first you think, “how come we’re not like that,” and after about an hour of it, you think, “I’m glad we’re not like that,” and after another hour, your like, “what? do they think they’re better than us, or something?”

…Well, it was like that.

One night, Jeremy and I came home from a date, and Wade and Angela called us into the garage (which was Wade’s room—it was kind-of finished off). Anyway, Angela was ritualistically burning Wade’s old wedding pictures...

Here I should probably tell you that Wade had been married, but was divorced. He was the other person Jeremy looked up to who had been divorced that I mentioned previously.

…and she insisted we stay and join the fun. Jeremy and I sat on the very edge of a couch, and smiled and laughed nervously and gave each other sideways glances. But we learn two very important things that night. First, we needed to have some kind of signal that we could give each other if we needed to make a mad dash out of a place. Second, Wade and Angela were unofficially engaged to each other.

All right, MAJOR tangent here, but I just reminded myself of a hill-air-e-us story. I’ll tell it real fast…

When I was in high school, Sara (little sister) and I were at some Young Women’s activity where we had gathered at someone’s house, listening to a speaker talk on some serious spiritual topic that went in one ear and out the other. Anyway, when it was over, people were small-talking, and it was getting rather dull, and Sara, who was sitting across the room from me gives me her, “lets get out of here look.” So I give her my, “totally, lets go,” look. Right about then, there’s a lull in conversation, so Sara stands up, stretches, pats her back pockets, and says, “Guess it’s time to go home and give the wife a little pickle tickle.”

It was a line from the movie A League of Their Own, and she didn’t realize what it meant. Oh, the look on our church leader’s faces…

OK, back to my story before you all abandon me.

I think Wade and Angela’s unofficial engagement made Jeremy more introspective than usual, though I know it didn’t have anything to do with Angela personally. He was just not into her. But one night, after a rip-roaring night of country dancing, Jeremy broke up with me.

Whoa wha… (says you)

I know. (says me)

I can’t remember many details about that night. I remember being surprised. I went to bed confused, but didn’t have much time to even process what had happened, because the next morning, Jeremy calls and asks me out. I agree, without even mentioning that he had broken up with me the night before.

He’s all cordial and platonic on the date… at first, but then he holds my hand, and then he kisses me, and then we’re boyfriend/girlfriend again, all without ever mentioning the fact that he had broken up with me.

A few weeks later, he breaks up with me again.

I remember being surprised. I went to bed confused, but didn’t have much time to even process what had happened, because the next morning, Jeremy calls and asks me out. I agree, without even mentioning that he had broken up with me the night before.

He’s all cordial and platonic on the date… at first, but then he holds my hand, and then he kisses me, and then we’re boyfriend/girlfriend again, all without ever mentioning the fact that he had broken up with me. Twice.

(Yeah, I copied and pasted that.)

A few weeks later, he breaks up with me a third time. Then guess what happened? Yeah, you see the pattern developing? I don’t even know how many times he broke up with me, and I don’t remember any of the reasons he gave me… except the last one.

For some reason, each time he called me up the next day I would agree to go somewhere or do something with him without question.

But why, Jenny? (says you, with a quizzical expression) You’re gorgeous, you don’t have to take that crap!

Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and tell myself all that same stuff you just told me.

There were many reasons I keep letting him wipe his muddy shoes off on my face, and some of them I didn’t even realize at the time. First, I liked him. He laughed at nearly everything that I wrote on my blog… I mean, nearly everything that I said. Ahem. But more than that, I loved the idea of him.

This is when I started a steady diet of plain oatmeal and licorice. Yum. To this day, I like to eat plain oatmeal (no I don’t).

At first, plain oatmeal was the only thing I could keep down because my stomach was in knots. Have you ever been so nervous, you couldn't eat because it felt like your stomach was already full of butterflies? That's how I felt all the time. A side effect of my oatmeal diet was that I started to lose weight, but I was only about 110 to begin with. I remember when I first got down to the double digits. I was like, "Holy stinking cow I only weigh that much? Sweet!"

It was like Christmas morning for me. I was so excited, so proud of myself, which made me happy, which made me want to lose more weight...

All you stay-at-home therapists are shaking your heads and saying, "At a time when so many things were out of her control, the only thing she could control was her weight."

Perhaps, perhaps...

Things continued this way for several months, but a ray of light was about to enter the picture, and he had blonde hair with this cute little wave in front, and green eyes and dimples when he smiled... and he was hanging on the wall at Jeremy's house.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What's Growing in My Garden

Seriously, can you identify any of these plants?

I started a garden on the side of our house about three years ago, but we didn't have a drip system, so I'd plant seeds, water them by hand for a few weeks, get lazy and forget about them, and everything would die within a few days.

This last spring, Anthony finally put the drip system in our garden, but before I had a chance to plant seeds, stuff started to grow.

It's ghost seed that I murdered last year, haunting my garden.

Anyway, if you can identify any of these plants, I'll give you five doll hairs. (Oh wait, that trick doesn't work if you spell it out.)








For bonus doll hairs, what are these peach-colored orbs growing on my peach tree?

I kept meaning to blog about Homer's new tramp. It takes up all the space in our huge backyard, but it's way funner than the area of grass it sits on. One of these days, I'm going to film myself doing this sweet flip I can do.

In other backyard news...

My raised planter still looks nothing like the main entrance to Disneyland...

There will be no pomegranates this year, as a group of wild kids picked all the baby fruit buds off my pomegranate bush. ("But can't we just buy them at the store?" says Gus. "No," says mom, "All the pomegranates in America were on that bush.")...

And my boxwood hedge is still as sparse as the day it was planted...

Hey, it's a freaking miracle any of these plants are even still alive in the 110+ degree heat we've been having.
What's your backyard news?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Part Four: D&TT

(Scroll down if you haven't read parts 1-3)

Where was I? Oh yes, making-out in the make-out room (aka basement) with Jeremy Cla…

Have you ever dated someone who liked country music, and suddenly, your taste in music takes a steep nosedive?

That’s what happened next.

Don’t get me wrong, things with Jeremy had been going pretty swell since we finally got the kissing thing down. He was an attentive boyfriend, and we had a lot of fun together. In the basement. (sorry mom)

But, I found myself going from having impeccable music standards (see playlist) to standing in line at Hastings, ready to throw-down $15 bucks for a Martina McBride CD.

See, country swing dancing was very popular in Boise; there were regular country dances held every Saturday. Jeremy was an accomplished swing dancer, and I was half his size and easy to toss around. Together, we were Katie and Joshua from SYTYCD.

I hope you appreciate my honesty right now. I’m blushing, you know.

But dating Jeremy Cla was like someone coming into my neighborhood and purchasing the house next door for $100,000 over fair-market-value. He upped my property value by an estimated 20-30%. (Am I good at these analogies, or what?) The chicks really dug him, girlfriend or not, (including his gorgeous ex-girlfriend Angela) yet he wanted to date me: a three-bedroom starter home. Ahem. Anyway…

I started going to Jeremy’s Ward, and, one Sunday, I notice that he was wearing new (pricey) clothes. Heaven knows he needed it, but heaven also knew he was as broke as an old-school Nintendo, and refused to spend his money on new clothes (despite my gentle suggestions that he do otherwise) so I was a bit perplexed as to where he got them. As I'm walking toward him, Angela rushes over to me to say, very sweetly, that she hopes I don't mind that she bought Jeremy a new outfit, but she had noticed that he needed new clothes.

I was like, "Oh that was nice of you, thanks, you didn't have to do that, wow that's a nice shirt, oh you had his shirt size memorized from when you dated him, really, that’s great, I could use some new clothes too ‘hint, hint,’ no I’m joking, I wear size zero, no I’m joking, yeah, he looks nice, well, yeah, OK, bye, thanks!"

Now, this isn’t the first time another girl had gotten my boyfriend an inappropriate gift. In sixth grade, my best friend had a huge crush on my boyfriend, Aaron, and for Valentines day, she bought him an economy sized box of Heath bars (that was his last name), which made my 2-inch, hollow chocolate bunny seem like a hollow gift indeed.

(I'm in the middle, my friend in red is the "Heath bar" girl)

Good thing I’m not the jealous type.


Come on.

Common knowledge: don’t buy someone else’s boyfriend a gift, and don’t accept a gift from another girl when you have a girlfriend.

Everyone agreed? Good. On with the story…

Even after dating Jeremy for quite a while, I never really felt like his equal, and I wasn’t the only person who thought so. He flat out told me that many of his friends disapproved of me, and questioned his reasons for dumping Angela. After all, I was barely 18 at this point, and Jeremy was 25, going on 26. He was at a different stage in life. But Jeremy was really rooting for me to come up to his level.

And I tried my best to oblige.

To be honest, I had a long way to go to get where he was at in life. I had spent the previous summer, playing street hockey with the ninth grade boys who lived down the street from me, while most girls my age had spent the summer in their basements with boys their own age.

(here's my bedroom. I'm bottom bunk, and that's my ninja turtles poster)

But Jeremy didn’t give up on me. He began asking me “deep” questions about marriage.

I distinctly remember when this started. I was in my parents’ office on the phone with him, and he said (quite seriously) there was something he needed to ask me.

“If we got married,” he started...

(and of course my heart was doing ten lords-a-leapings because this was the first time a guy had ever mentioned marriage to me--but this would become commonplace in the near future.)

He continued, “and I got a job in Texas or some place out-of-state…”

“Yeah?” I asked, with baited breath…

“…would you come with me?” he finished.

Was this a trick question? I quickly said, “Yes,” because like, duh, we’re married, of course we’d live together.

Then he said, “So, you’d come with me?”

Me: “If we’re married? Yeah.”


Him: “You’re sure?”

Me: “Yes.”


Him: (sighing with relief) “Good”

I remember this question so clearly, because #1) it was stupid, #2) he asked me this same question repeatedly on a regular basis, #3) he truly believed that this was THE make-or-break-a-marriage question.

I knew what he meant. He wanted to know if I would leave behind my family to be with my husband, choose my husband over my parents. And I didn’t have to lie when I answered it; it was an easy question to answer truthfully, a given, really. I could think of a number of more important questions he could have asked, like, something basic, like, "do you love me?"

For several reasons, he was real hung up on that one question, and I’ll tell you why later.

Each time he brought this question up, I would get a little more annoyed by it. Several times, I remember rolling my eyes on the other end of the phone, and answering him very sweetly, “yes, I would move with you if we were married.” But my woman's lib side was screaming, “What about me? Do I have a say in this marriage, or am I just a piece of meat that you drag to Texas?!?”

Meanwhile, Jeremy decided that I should meet his mom, brothers, and sisters, so we made the trip to eastern Idaho. Usual awkwardness there. But that night, we went to a football game at his old high school, and about halfway through, he leans down to me, and, pointing down the bleachers, he says, “That’s my dad sitting down there.”

His dad notices us, and he sort-of waves, and that’s it.

See, his dad had left his mom when he was in high school, and, though they all lived in the same town, the dad had let his relationship with his kids fade away...

“Fathers be good to your sons, Sons will love like you do…” (<--John Mayer singing)

Poor Jeremy. He was really confused about marriage. He wanted to get married, but he was terrified of getting divorced—more so than the average picnic basket. And his dad wasn't the only person with a failed marriage that he looked up to...

So, Jeremy was looking out for #1 (himself), which meant that the best I could place was #2.

Man, I'm sick of writing this, and I haven't even gotten to the oatmeal part...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Take a Chance on a Flick like this...

First, I saw Mama Mia! (the movie) last night and highly recommend it, especially if you love ABBA (who doesn't?) and if you haven't seen the play. (It's every bit as cheesy and entertaining as the play.)

Wunderbar! (that's Swedish for wonderful)

The cutest little old man sat next to us and he was clapping, dancing, and singing along. Oh, I wish I was old so I could get away with doing crazy junk like that.

ABBA reminds me of my BFF from high school, Gina S--we were both raised on ABBA. (hard, deciding what ABBA songs to add to my playlist)

And now I'm going to post a super groovy picture of me and Gina S., dressed all ABBAish (that's what she gets for never looking at my blog).

Second, the first meeting of the Smart Remarks book club is today! BUT after realizing that a few people (me) still haven't read this month's book choice, The Blue Castle by LM Montgomery, (LOSERS!!!!!) I thought we should probably extent it by a week. So, we'll discuss the book on July 27th... everyone kool with that?

Anyone who read the book should post their own review, if possible. I'll provide some thought-provoking metaphors, conjunctions, & smilies about the reading, since I nominated the &@&*%*& thing in the first place. Then we can discuss in the comments. Okiedoke? Also, we'll nominate a new book. (Toss me a bone on that one, OK?)

Third, I Aced my math final (<--I'm no dummy)

, part four of my Dramatic and Twisted Tail is coming...

(If the name Rebecca Ryan sounds familiar, click here. If you haven't seen this movie, you MUST borrow my mom's Beta Max copy of it. Best movie of 1984, hands down.)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Rock Star

Hear those new songs on my playlist with the tough, sporadic drum beats? Well, those are a few of the songs to which I've mastered the drums on Rock Star.

Man, I look cool when I'm playing that plastic drum set.

I also mastered Tom Sawyer by Rush (which is extremely difficult to play), but I couldn't bring myself to add Getty Lee's witch-like voice to my playlist. Anthony is Rush's #1 fan and he's bugged that I'm in first place (actually, I'm in places 1 thru 8 + 10). He keeps trying to beat me, but he's in 9th place. Cute!

*For those of you deeply enthralled in my romance blogmoir (<--that's blog+memoir) entitled "A Dramatic and Twisted Tail," by Rebecca Ryan (<--that's my pen name) I will continue it, but I'm studying for my Math final today, so maybe after I take the test I can write more. We shall see, we shall see...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Part Three: D&TT

*As the title suggests, this is a continuation of the two previous posts, so read those first, or you’ll be like, “Who’s this Jeremy Cla character?”

So, the next day, Jeremy Cla calls and asks if I want to go hang out with his group of (snooze-fest) friends, and I say, “totally.” A few people are meeting at his house, and then driving out to some lake, or park or something to have a bonfire/picnic. By the time I get to his house, some of his friends are already there, and Jeremy meets me out by my car (presumably to talk privately).

The first thing he says to me is, “So was that your first kiss?”

Caught off guard, I’m like, “Cha-right.” (Which is 90s talk for “No!”)

And he’s like, “I talked to Wade (his roommate) about it, and he said it was probably your first kiss.”

(OK, this happened a long time ago, but the same indignation is bubbling up inside me as I write this. I need a Diet Coke...)

I'm back.

He was wrong on so many levels.

First, the night before, his clumsy attempt to shake off our “third wheel,” made me feel like he wanted me to leave ASAP, not that he wanted to kiss me.

Second, his sideways hug, pinning me in place, and firm, poorly executed kiss, didn’t give me anything to work with, even if it had been my first kiss (which it hadn’t). I got better, tenderer kisses from the back-of-my-hand than that kiss he gave me. The back-of-my-hand was a gentleman. (OK, now I’m just being silly)

Third, I gave him to the count of five to redo the kiss, and he did nothing.

Fourth, he discussed it with his roommate?!? And, because it couldn’t possibly be Jeremy’s fault that the kiss was bad, they chalked the whole thing up to my inexperience…

The ego has landed.

At the time, I didn’t have the skills to communicate any of the above to him, so instead, I just kept insisting over and over that it wasn’t my first kiss (which was irrelevant), and in response, Jeremy gave me an indulgent, fatherly grin and rustled the hair on the top of my head, or something like that.

Gag me.

I was always a bit awkward around his roommate, Wade, but after that, I felt like a galactic hovercraft around him, if you know what I mean. Jeremy had a lot of admiration for Wade. They often had deep conversations about life, marriage, my kissing ability, etc. I felt like I needed to make a good impression on Wade, the way I’d need to make a good impression on Jeremy’s dad. Instead, I got a “disapproving father” vibe from Wade. I don’t know what he really thought of me back then. Maybe I’ll ask him someday.

Anyway, we gather up some junk from his house, like blankets and food and junk, and drive out to wherever we’re going, and I’m still peeved at Jeremy, but whatever. As we’re walking towards his group of friends, carrying junk, Jeremy leans down to tell me, “By the way, Angela’s going to be here.” (That’s his ex-girlfriend, in case you didn’t remember).

Now, I’m not the jealous type, so this doesn’t phase me, but then he proceeds to tell me that there was all this drama behind-the-scenes of this little picnic/get-together that I didn’t know about.

You see, Jeremy and Angela had the same friends. Jeremy had pretty much dumped Angela out of the blue (around the time I graduated from high school, if you get my drift), and she was still goo-goo-ga-ga for him. For those reasons, his friends didn't think it was a good idea for Jeremy to bring his new girlfriend to the picnic. But, Jeremy really wanted to go hang out with his old gang, and he couldn't go without me , so "please could he go and bring me?" And, "I think it will be good for Angela to see I've moved on and so can she."

Yeah, frankly, I agreed with his friends and would have rather not gone. Even I knew it was insensitive of him to bring me along at that point, and I really didn't care if I went to his friend's picnic anyway.

It's not that Jeremy was a jerk or anything, just kind-of unaware, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, Angela goes out of her way to be friendly and engaging toward me, but her reasons are painfully obvious, and it doesn't last long. No one else really talks to me all. I don't blame them; they couldn't very well go out of their way to be friendly to me without looking like a bunch of jerks. Still, it was horrible for me, and it lasted late into the night. I hoped that I wouldn't have to go through that again, but I did. Many many times.

Late that night, when we get back to Jeremy's house, he walks me over to my car and we get our redo. He turns out to be a mighty fine kisser, making the back-of-my-hand seem like kissing an old-school Nintendo.

Our relationship jumps into hyper drive after this. I have a curfew, so Jeremy jumps in his own car and follows me back to my house. We make-out in the basement until the break of dawn. (Sorry mom)

OK, that's it for now. Next time I'll tell you how Jeremy and I became the country swing dance stars of the 3 Ward, why I began a steady diet of oatmeal and licorice, and you'll hear all about my interviews with Jeremy for the position of being his wife for all Eternity... ternity... ternity... ternity... (<--that was an echo)