Friday, December 31, 2004

Our trip to Sam's Club

So last night was so fabulous. The party was really no surprise because our friends (the ones holding our ladder hostage from the Great Ladder Caper of 2004 if you've read my Christmas letter) asked if we were doing anything on Wednesday night, our anniversary. Knowing me the way they do, I jumped at the opportunity to spend the evening with them instead of a romantic dinner out with my husband. My husband tries, but he has the romance of a doo-doo bird. (My apologies to the doo-doo bird.) D did bring me a dozen roses and a sappy card for our 25th anniversary which was very sweet, but when I asked him what movie we should go see that night, he suggested Blade Trinity, AND HE WAS SERIOUS. Instead, we went to The Aviator. (Hello, Leonardo DeCaprio's butt!) We often go to dinner afterwards, but I was thrilled to be going over to our friends' house for a between-the-holidays spontaneous party. She wouldn't let me bring anything, but knowing that I am not the best cook, that didn't surprise me. When we arrived, everyone was already there, singing "Happy Anniversary to You," which isn't really a song, but they sang it to the tune of "Happy Birthday." There was champagne and glorious food and toasts and laughter till our sides hurt. I just happened to find our wedding album and brought it to show "the part of the virgin bride was played by Ellen." I was talking with two lovely men when someone tugged on my shirt and said, "You're gonna wish you were in on that conversation in there." The topic? Where is the strangest place you have ever had sex? And these are my CHURCH friends. God, I love the Episcopal Church and all it has to offer. I will not (no matter how much you pay me) divulge names, but suffice it to saw that some answers were "washer/dryer," "golf course," and "flying down the highway at 70 mph." And no, my husband of 25 years and I were not the ones with those answers. We were the last to leave (because I don't have a job to go to the next morning, but everyone else did)!

So I am determined to get my Christmas (holiday) cards/letters out before 2005. I e-mailed my letter with photos to about 225 people, but I wanted to share it with those who have not joined us in the 21st Century with the internet. My daughters took the most stunning photo Christmas Eve after we returned from the neighbors' party and before we headed to Midnight Mass. These young ladies, the fruit of my loins, are drop-dead gorgeous when they dress up, which is so rare. After seeing the photo the other day, I decided we needed to make copies for the 50 or so snail mail friends. Thus, the run to Sam's Club (or EE, the Evil Empire). Please don't chastise me. Prints are 18 cents a piece. We made 60 copies and ran back home so Emily could go work out. We returned in an hour to pick up the photos and a copy of Garden State, Em's favorite movie (next to Saved). As we're leaving, she takes a peak at the multiple copies of these 2 gorgeous subjects in low-cut fancy dresses and bling-bling and said, "Well, I bet that picture guy got a woody." She cracks me up.

Now why do you think I grab every opportunity to send out photos of them when their mouths are closed and nothing vulgar or obscene can come out? It's a rare moment so let's immortalize it quickly. Well, the cards got sign, the labels attached and photos inserted so that they can have a Dec 31, 2004 postmark even if they won't arrive until 2005.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Squares of toilet paper

I know, it's my anniversary, and I should be spouting the wonders of a quarter century of marital bliss, but I have other things on my mind. Yes, the husband came through with a dozen red roses last night and a sappy card. How sweet. Good boy. He done good. I waited too long to buy the gift I wanted for him, and it must be ordered. Oh well. He'll get it before the next 25 years.

My oldest daughter, a college kid, is so wise and reminds me/us how we are wrong or stupid. I wish this for all of you. I had no idea I had been using too much toilet paper until my daughter pointed it out. I think her exact words were, "Your cooch is not THAT big." Now it's a running joke that she must count the squares I pull off. I check with her every time now just to be obnoxious. No more obnoxious than telling me how much toilet paper I can use.

So, although she is home for a month of toilet paper square counting, today she is off again with friends for the next 2 days. I went to the bathroom and used all the toilet paper I wanted. Hell, I am 47 years old. I can have 20-minute showers, if I want. I can eat dessert first. And I can use all the squares of toilet paper that I want. So there, Miss Know It All.

On a sad note, Jerry Orbach died. Lumiere in Beauty & the Beast, a Tony for "Promises, Promies." And of course, Lenny Briscoe for 12 years on Law & Order. A moment of silence please for Lenny Briscoe.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The day before our anniversary

I'm taking the leap. After being in the pilot seat for my daughter's blog last summer, I've decided I should have one of my own. I mean, after all, I love to write and I type 80 words a minute so I can just type nonsense and be done in no time when I post. Now I just need an audience.

Tomorrow is my (oooops... OUR) 25th wedding anniversary. Already, you know I am at least 43 if I got married at the age of 18 WHICH I DIDN'T. I got married at the age of 22, still too young, but that makes me 47. I have absolutely NO idea how we got here. Where did a quarter of a century go? I swear to God, it was yesterday when we brought home that little yellow blob of baby from the hospital 21 years ago (only to take her back and forth to the emergency room to check her bilirubin in 20 BELOW zero temp throughout the holidays). Yesterday, I tell you. Since then, we had another blob of baby 5 years later, moved to Kirkwood, bought a house, went through several cars and jobs and here we are... married for 25 years.

I have a lot of advice on how to get here, none of which I heeded. But the biggest one, which I did/do follow, is forgive and forget. (Which is quite easy when you hit your 40s). When we were at our lowest point 5 years ago, separated, almost divorced, I was recovering from a full-out nervous breakdown, the kind you hear about from Hollywood. I was writing checks to a shrink who would then prescribe great drugs while asking me "Are you suicidal?" And I had my hands shoved in my coat pocket thinking, "Lady, I don't have the energy to kill myself, but thanks for asking." It hit me that I could keep paying this lady for the sessions or make the decision on my own: Did I want to stay married or not? When it came down to it, I had found a man who, after 20 years with me, would still curl his body around me while I shook from an anxiety attack, and then go back to his room. How lucky can a girl get? So I kept him around. But before doing so, I had to decide that I would put away all the ugly things that had happened to us. Holding onto them just made us bitter and angry and frustrated and mad as hell. We could not undo the past so we might as well move forward. When you make that decision, you can no longer reminisce, "Remember the Christmas you gave me size XXXL flannel pajamas with teddy bears on them (after I had just bought the same pair the weekend beforehand)?" or "Remember that time you bought me the book titled 'How To Look 10 Years Younger' for Mother's Day when I was 27?" Or "Remember the time I bore your children, but you didn't give me anything like flowers or jewelry that I heard other husbands do for their wives after birthing a watermelon from their loins?"

When you vow to stay together by never bringing up the past, you lose the chance to reflect on those fun times. But you look into the future and realize that he ain't that bad after all. And that brings us to 25 years. It can happen in the blink of an eye, and when you vow to forgive and forget, it makes it go even faster. And then there's always good drugs.

Happy Silver Anniversary to us!