Saturday, April 9, 2011

and no one denies this!

[if you're not a reader of the hilariously vulgar football blog kissing suzy kolber, well, you should be, because it's insanely funny and VERY inappropriate. that's a combo that i love. they have a character named tommy from quinzee, and the title of this post is his catch phrase. boston sports fans who read me? sorry. it's just too funny. don't feel bad; there are some mooky weirdo yankee fans in this world too.]

the prom went down. and now that the hangover has waned, all pieces of jewelry have been located and enough gatorade to float the freaking white house has been consumed, it's time for the postmortem. first, for those who asked for pictures, the sparkly dress...

nice, eh? it was dirt-cheap, too. the man and i both clean up pretty when we want to. and the party itself was...

ok, look. i'm just gonna come right out and say this. LSU parties are superior to my new school's party, and no one denies this. for starters, they had a gala event - $50 a ticket - for ADULTS, and there was NO LIQUOR. yeah, that's right, no liquor. beer and wine only. um, sorry. this isn't a wedding, where the guests show up and drink on your tab. i paid $100 for our admission to this party, and for that much money, i should be able to have a damn cocktail or six. that's what brought the hangover on, actually; i drank eight glasses of wine in a spiteful attempt to get my money's worth.

secondly, well, it was just so... tame. nothing scandalous happened. the kids showed up and dutifully danced to the party band (the man christened them "alternate universe gaslight anthem"), but nobody really cut loose. well, except for me on drink five or so. i took off the fancy earrings, slapped the hair back into a ponytail and did what you're supposed to do at a party: danced like a fiend, damn the consequences.

sadly, as i predicted, it was just a tight-assed little soiree, not the blowout bash it's supposed to be. that's just... in a way, it's what i expected all along, but it's still kinda heartbreaking to see people who are that out of touch with themselves. achievement doesn't have to turn you into a pod person. you're still allowed to breathe, smile, and - gasp! - get radically drunk while dancing provocatively with your boyfriend. the world will not end. you'll be happier for it.

and no one denies that.

Friday, April 8, 2011

prom night!

so i'll be 30 in two months, three weeks and and three days. i am a mature and reasonable adult who pays her bills and all that business. so that's precisely why the man and i are going to prom tonight.

no, we're not chaperoning a high-school dance. (yikes, torture. could you imagine?) part of the beauty of law school is the fact that there's a big shiny formal dance every year, even for us grown-up LL.M. people. the ones at LSU were fantastic. 'course, louisianians do nothing as well as they throw parties. we put on pretty dresses and nice suits, respectively, and went to hotel ballrooms to drink, dance and cut up. then we went to after-parties to continue drinking, dancing and cutting up. it was a beautiful thing, even when they didn't have malibu at the bar and i had to drink vodka and pineapple juice.

i love sparkly dresses. it's another one of the ways in which i am thoroughly, irretrievably, irrepressibly a CHICK. but i'll tell you, i'm a little nervous about this one tonight. i mean, there will be alcohol and snacks, and i will get to gallivant around on the arm of the man, who looks sexy as all hell in a suit. but let's face it; the kids at my marble-floored bastion of top-fourteen HIGHER LEGAL LEARNING aren't all that good at cutting loose and having fun. they are very serious people, and they think of very serious things all the serious time. it's a lot to take, even for someone who's as serious as i am.

so it'll be interesting to see how the high-rollin' popular kids throw down. i'm not entirely certain they'll know how to get it done. in order to have a successful party, you need to have the ability to stop fretting and let go for once in your life. that's one of the best skills i learned at LSU. we worked hard in my JD program, don't get it twisted. law school is never easy. but we also knew that all work and no play makes law students... something, something. (go crazy? don't mind if i do!) kids here don't seem to know that. they really do seem to think that if they let up for one second, someone's gonna overtake them! oh, my god! then they'll have to work at the #4 law firm in the country instead of the #3 one!

pardon the sarcasm, but come on. that's no way to live. so even though it's prom night, we'll see how much revelry there is to be had. i mean, by the others, that is. i plan to have one HELL of a time. there's gonna be free champagne. that's good enough for me!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


in case it hasn't become thoroughly obvious, i am an unmitigated mushball deep in my core. oh, i'm plenty tough around the edges, but scratch me hard enough and you will find my soft candy center. it's made up of marshmallow fluff and that weird dyed-pink coconut that encases sno-balls. (you've never had a sno-ball? oh, you poor deprived soul, possessed of way more culinary responsibility than i'll ever have. your humble blog proprietor would spend many a friday afternoon after elementary school in the 1980s gnawing happily on one of these.) this is the curse i carry through this life. i am powerless over bulldogs, boston terriers, pudgy babies, and mites (little kids who play hockey - oh my god, y'all, you should've seen the little ones on ice last night at the caps game; you'd have DIED). i own it.

but what really dissolves me into a little pile of pink-coconut-flecked marshmallow goo is when someone is unexpectedly sweet to me. i'm a hardcore sucker for the tiny gesture, especially when given by someone who's not known for that sort of thing. i think you know where i'm going with this one. where do i always go? enter the man. my attempt to make him a hockey nut was... well, it was a dismal failure. he spent the entire third period watching a gamecast of the giants-padres game on his iphone, which didn't even have images, just a scrolling list of plays. he wouldn't even chant "let's go caps!" with me when the horn guy blew his horn. he. was. BORED.

needless to say, this made me feel bad. so i said, sorry to have dragged you to something at which you were clearly miserable. i wasn't miserable. you had fun. i'm glad you were so happy. so next time i should just bring my dad to the game? no. i like seeing you enjoy something like this. awwww. that made me smile. he's so freaking good at these little things. he's definitely mentioned in the past that he likes to make me happy. i just want you to be happy, in fact, is something he said to me a lot in the beginning. and not that other guys in my past haven't shared the same sentiment. it would be a stupid and/or evil man who didn't want the main woman in his life to be happy.

maybe it's because he knows me so incredibly well, better than anyone else on the planet, but he always knows precisely what it takes to melt me. this is, besides all the other reasons why i adore this relationship, my favorite thing about him. and i know i spend a lot of time gushing over him here. it's gotta get old at some point, i'm sure. but i want it made damn clear that i appreciate him, and his extreme skill at warming my heart. honestly, he's the central piece of the happiness in my life these days. the professional and academic achievements are awesome, and i am DAMN proud of them. but honestly, they wouldn't be anywhere near as fun if i couldn't turn to him and say, look what i just did, and hear back, i knew you would. i'm so proud of you.

mushy, yes. but it's so good.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

72 degrees and sunny

i have been pent up inside for hours now, trying to be a good little scholar and finish that 10-page paper i alluded to last night. (some of you know what i've really been up to - damn you, facebook/twitter/etc.!) but it's all about to be okay. see, i am going to a hockey game tonight. god, i love hockey. and to get to my local hockey arena, i will head out of this library and take a nice, leisurely stroll in the sunshine.

yeah, sunshine. after the debacle that was yesterday's weather, and let's face it, the entirety of march in the nation's capital, it decided to be beautiful today. rock on. i've been staring enviously out the window all afternoon, watching tulip trees bloom and desperately wishing to be freaking done with school so i can go outside and loll about in the grass, reading trashy books and thinking about how i will never, ever have to go to school again.

the happiness has infected my soul today in a nearly-manic fashion. it's spring fever, i think. life is taking a turn for the smile-inducing on so many levels, and i'm actually able to get out of my own way and (gasp!) enjoy that. plus, i have the weirdest form of reverse seasonal affective disorder known to man, as i told y'all last year when this started happening. so in the face of the fresh hell that will be unleashed on the district (and the rest of the country, but acutely and especially the district) with the impending budget shutdown foolishness, i am happy. in the face of a lot of other not-so-nice things in the outside world, the inside world of your humble blog proprietor is 72 degrees and sunny.

productivity? nah, not so much. but happiness? all damn day. now it's time to wrap up the regular season for my boys in red and march strong to the playoffs. LET'S GO CAPS!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

list of demands

as the song says, i've got a list of demands, written on the palm of my hands. well, written on the face of my blog. but still, it stands. here ya go:

1) i want someone else to write my seminar paper for this semester. oh, i'll give total credit; i don't steal other people's work. i'll cop 100% to the fact that someone else wrote it. but i do NOT want to write a 25-page paper this month. i also want someone else to write my other paper that's due in 13 days. this one is just toddler-level temper-fit petulance, because it's a 10-page maximum. i can do that in three hours, and will most likely knock that out tonight. it's a topic i know inside and out, and can probably conjure up an A-level work in no time. but i. don't. wanna.

2) speaking of tonight, when it gets to be mealtime, i want someone to bring me baked ziti, with extra mozzarella, a nice salad and some good, crusty bread. also, some tiramisu. hmm. not seeing this happening, though. it's looking like indian food from trader joe's for dinner.

3) i want the drive and determination to get into that freaking gym and bust tail. bathing suit season is coming down the pike, and i need some toning and shaping. (hmm. the song that inspires this list is kind of a run-through-a-brick-wall song. maybe that'll help.)

4) i want to meet butler blue II. i don't care if they got destroyed last night; this dog is the cutest freaking thing ever. the man has spent hours finding videos and pictures to show me, largely because he thinks it's the height of amusing to see, and i'm quoting, my bad-ass, tough girl reduced to a pile of mush, "oh, my god, how cuuuuute!" whatever. i own my mushiness. and if you don't think that picture is the cutest thing you've ever seen... well, i don't know what to tell you.

5) i want it to be tomorrow night. the man and i have hockey tickets. i love hockey; he thinks it's stupid. my daddy was once this way, too. then i took him to watch the caps beat the hell out of the st. louis blues one christmas, and it was all over. now daddy watches don cherry on the regular and can often be found yelling "hit somebody!" i foresee something similar happening with the man. well, maybe not. but it's still going to be fun. let's go caps!

6) i want to go on vacation with the man, somewhere warm and beachy. i want there to be a convertible involved, as well as a fun dive bar. i want to indulge in all my favorite vices - eating, drinking, swimming, sunning and, well, the man - for a few days, basically on demand. sound good? i think so. just help me remember my sunscreen.

so that's my list of demands on this freezing cold and rainy day. anyone else in the mood to be petulant and demanding? i hope it's not just me...

Monday, April 4, 2011


it's no secret that there have been some scary incidents in my life, points where the edge was suddenly under my toes and threatening to pass under me, dropping me fast and far to god only knows what. it's not a fun place to be. but i have been beyond fortunate in my life. i've been surrounded by people who love me, in both happy times and scary ones. i love them back, and i appreciate the support and the love they've shown me more than i could ever articulate. it's a rare privilege to have such a fantastic coterie of nearest and dearest.

but alongside the external support, i have always managed to have a backstop, somewhere deep down inside me, that's pulled me back from the brink. sometimes it manifests itself in times of fun, when i need to make that decision to either not take that last drink or risk the hangover from hell. (now, in that circumstance, i don't always listen to the backstop, but i am always granted, somehow, a five-minute or so window in every drunken bacchanalia that lets me say "when.") other times, though... well, this is the first time i've discussed any of this as publicly as this, but here we go.

there have been two times in my life when the darkness was most dangerous. once, i was very young, and facing failure on a grand scale for the very first time. it threatened to overwhelm me. i remember this night as being at equal turns hazy and very sharp. there were perilous circumstances all around me as i sat alone in my dorm room. rational thought? forget it. but suddenly, quite out of nowhere, i thought, i should call the boy. ("the boy" here is my ex.) so i dialed him up and said something to the effect of, you need to come over right now. he did. thankfully, i did not lock my door in that dorm if i wasn't leaving, so he came right in and stopped me from making a decision that, let's face it, wouldn't have ended well. that bolt out of the blue, that phone call, saved me from some really bad consequences. backstop.

the other time was very recently. i've sketched it out briefly here. that was a long, dark night alone in my bedroom, drinking wine and considering my options. but somehow, some way, i had the thought, i should text the man. i know i didn't make sense. he kept me on the line, so to speak. are you okay? what do you need? do you want me to come over? you're scaring me. i'm coming to get you. and he did. he drove over, in a blinding thunderstorm, took me home with him and held me through the night. he didn't stop all the damage, but he certainly capped what could've gone down. i don't have a lot of recall at all about that night. there's blurriness, haze, and disorientation everywhere. but i do remember, VERY clearly, one gap in the confusion. for some reason, this song was playing (some late-night talk show, i guess), and the thought to text him came then. backstop.

this all came to me because of some stresses in the lives of friends of mine. people have thrown up their hands and admitted to needing help, and in a couple of cases, the choice to get that help was not theirs alone. help is an amazing thing, especially when you're suffering. having it foisted on you is one thing. but being able to stop yourself before the edge upon which you're balanced slips past you? priceless. absolutely priceless. i don't know where i get this power, this ability, this backstop i have. but my god, there's nothing about myself that i love and value more. my impulse to self-preserve, somewhere under all of this, has been vital. here's hoping i never, ever lose it.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


y'all remember a separate peace? i read it in tenth grade, and it was one of the few compulsory novels in high school that i truly loved. i assume that it's so ubiquitous at this point that i'm not even gonna say spoiler alert, but one of the main characters dies of an embolism during surgery to set a broken leg. a piece of marrow dislodges and stops his heart. that's a really apt analogy for the new grief process of the post-detente divorce. every time i turn around, a new piece of sadness breaks off and strikes me, rendering me completely defenseless. see also: this entire weekend.

see, last night, the man and i had an argument. nothing terrifically serious on its face - we were discussing the legitimacy of the NCAA. but this argument lasted the entire length of the uconn-kentucky game. no exaggeration; we didn't wrap it up and say sorry until the horn sounded and uconn advanced. it was a fun debate at first, but i found myself getting more and more worked up. there were a couple of things that struck me as hurtful. first, the man said at one point, tell me why i don't get it. tell me why i'm stupid. i lost my mind. hey, stop. i did NOT say you were stupid. i wouldn't ever say that. secondly, he said, that was a ridiculous, if not dumb, point. um, what?

so i called him on it. dumb? what the hell? he said, what? i say dumb things all the time. YOU'RE not dumb. you're brilliant. that's why it's so surprising that you'd say it that way. i guess that makes sense. not thrilled with the word choice, but okay. now let's move on to the whole tell me why i'm stupid thing. i did NOT call you stupid. of course you didn't. i know you don't think that. i was talking about myself. i felt stupid because i didn't understand. yeah, those are loaded words. i don't use them in situations like this. and as i said that to him, i felt my eyes welling up with tears. i stopped talking. you okay? no, not really. it hit me in that moment that, when these debates would happen in the old life, when the word dumb came out, he meant it. when the word bitch came out, same thing. the enormity of the brokenness of our interactions slapped me full across the face. to look the man in the eye, to see his concern, his sincerity, and to realize how scarred i was by the patterns of the past was a tough thing to face. he opened his arms to me, and as i laid my head against his chest and felt him kiss my forehead, i once again told myself that things were different, new, better.

then, a few minutes ago, actually, another sliver of grief came free. he went out tonight on a business dinner. cool; an evening in, painting my nails and watching baseball. all i need is some provision for my own dinner, and that's totally fine. (not like he keeps food in his home. not his style.) but a two-hour meeting that was well into hour four had my dander up, to say the least about it. my temper was getting piqued. hmph. bet he forgot. he'll be here eventually; it's his house. but looks like i got brushed off. 'course, that's exactly when he calls to ask what i want for dinner, and to tell me he'll be home soon. and it hit me like a ton of bricks. i am so used to the man in my life letting me down and disappointing me. it's almost what i've come to expect. y'all have read my hosannas to the heavens about the nice things he does for me. he's heard this too, and he always responds with the same thing: i do what i can. he almost seems surprised that i'm so grateful for him. well, i'm grateful because a) i don't expect reliability and b) i'm way more used to having to yell at someone than to thank someone.

this is a process, the man said as he wiped the tears away last night. but every day, it's going to get a little bit better. he's right. as i realize where i was hurt, what was broken, i can start to fix it. the pieces that break off won't kill me. they'll hurt as they come loose, but the more that come free, the closer i'll be to putting this whole, ugly mess 100% behind me. and believe me, that cannot happen fast enough.