Monday, September 29, 2008

Man Those Were Good Times

The wedding was great. The bride was beautiful. The church was in Birmingham and was also beautiful. The weather was just perfect. Stef and I cleaned up real well and arrived on time even though she had some anxiety about that. I raised one child that can't be late and one that can't be on time. More on that some other day.

We did meet the new boyfriend and we love him. If they break up maybe Stef and I can keep seeing him. He sat with us for the wedding and for the reception so we got plenty of opportunity to embarrass Danielle and ourselves but I think we did well.

I got tears in my eyes when I looked back at the bridal party and saw that the bride's grandfather was preparing to walk her down the aisle. He had been such a factor in her growing up years that it just seemed right that he give her away. He bought her the first car, paid for her first semester of college, provided a safe haven for her when her mother would periodically kick her out of the house. It just seemed right. Her father only just recently established any relationship with her even though his two other grown children were in her wedding party. He called the day of the wedding and told her that he not only wasn't coming to the wedding but that he wouldn't be talking to her again.

The reception was very nice just hard to find. I guess the limo driver (Super Mario) got lost too, so I didn't feel so bad. I had the sun in my eyes trying to drive into the west at sunset, the first street MapQuest told me t0 turn down was closed for construction and it went downhill from there. Stef kept saying, "I'm hungry". I finally told her, "Shut up! There's no food here!" But we did find it after all and so did everyone else.

After dinner, I went up to the bride's grandfather to tell him how happy I was to see him walk her down the aisle. He told me a story about how Danielle had lost a piece of jewelry in the lake when she was little and the girls were staying at his house. He dug in the murky lake water for hours looking for a ring because she was so upset about losing something that had belonged to me. She had it in her towel and forgot when she went to dry off after swimming and the ring went into the water. He looked at me and told me how beautiful Danielle is and just how much fun it was when the girls were young. He said, "Man those were good times". And they were.

P.S. Danielle did live through the maid of honor speech. She talked about how they have known each other since they were five and what the bride and groom can do to make a good marriage together. She told the bride to admit it when she is wrong and shut up when she is right. She then told the groom to remember "Happy wife happy life".

P.P.S. But when I think back on the evening, I will just remember that, "Man those were good times".

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Wedding

Ok, so we (me and the daughters) are going to a wedding on Friday. Should be interesting. The bride is Danielle's first childhood friend to get married. And Danielle is the maid of honor. Her first experience in that position. And I get to meet the guy that Danielle has been "seeing". I have been warned not to embarrass her and so has Stef. Cuz you know, we do stuff like that if we aren't warned ahead of time.

The girl has been a Bridezilla from the first day. And actually Danielle has taken it pretty well but I think with 12 credit hours in college, 2 jobs, and the assistant bridezilla position, she is looking forward to the end. That is, if she can come up with a speech for the reception. She is agonizing over that idea. She says she can't get up in front of people and speak. I told her that no one is going to really pay attention to what she says and they will go back to the drinking and dancing. She doesn't believe me.

The whole ordeal has been quite expensive for Danielle too. The bachorlette party was a huge financial drain on her. One bridesmaid took off for Vegas with her boyfriend, saying that she just couldn't pass up the opportunity to go on vacation. She paid nothing towards the party. Another girl rode in the limo and paid nothing. Danielle bought the food, arranged and paid up front for the limo and bought all the party favors, and decorations, etc. all by herself.

I hope the wedding goes well. I hope the bride looks beautiful. I hope Danielle's speech is perfect and I hope Stef and I behave properly at the reception and we don't embarrass anyone.
And I hope the bride and groom live happily ever after.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Life Begins at 32

When I was young I never really felt part of what was going on. The best I can describe it is as if I was an observor and not a participant. I wasn't the kid that went around with a cute smile on my face. I was shy, serious, and always observing life. I always knew and felt that something was wrong with me. Something was missing in me. Other people had "something". I didn't.

At age 32 that all changed. I gave birth to my first child, a beautiful daughter named Danielle. At 35 I gave birth to my second daughter, also beautiful, named Stefanie. Life became more colorful, active, and whizzed rapidly past my head. I was finally part of life. I belonged to someone. The hole in my heart that was created when my mother died was finally filled with little people needing me. This is what I had been waiting for. So many years of not knowing where I belonged were finally over.

Now the girls are past the age of being taken to school. No one runs to greet me when I come home from work. No one calls me at 3pm when they used to come home from school and call just to check in. And you know what? That's ok. Life is different again and I am ok with it. I have time to play on the computer, browse in stores, and I don't have to lift anyone up to sit in the shopping cart at Target. And it is ok. I am ok.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

20 Pounds

My mother died when I was 16 and she was 48. I immediately consoled myself with food that she wouldn't have approved of. Lots of food. She wasn't there to hear me getting into the refrigerator. I gained 20 pounds.

When I graduated from college I lost 20 pounds. I was nervous about going out into the world and actually making a living and being responsible. I was in the habit of cutting classes and such and the real world doesn't work like that. Life became normal again as I adjusted to the working world and I gained 20 pounds.

When my father died I was 43 and I lost 20 pounds. Food tasted like sawdust in my mouth. Life eventually settled down to normal and I gained 20 pounds.

Every spring I resume my walking routine and lose weight (20 pounds?) and feel good about myself and eat healthy. Winter comes and I sit on the couch and eat and gain weight (20 pounds?)

Do I see a pattern here?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Danielle's Computer

So I spent lots of money trying to fix my daughter's computer so she wouldn't have to buy a new laptop for school. Then when she gets it back it takes her 2 weeks to try it out and then tells me that it is too old and she had planned on throwing it in the trash. So I called the computer guy about it not working and he said to just bring it into his shop and he thought that maybe it was the broadband I had gotten for her.

So I come home planning on grabbing it and running out the door and for the heck of it I plug it in and start it up. Of course, it works. Now when she comes home she is going to be mad because I used her computer. I am thinking that maybe I can't win. What do you think?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I thought my life would be different

I thought I would have more money in my 401k.
I thought I would be skinnier.
I thought I would have a dog.
I thought my kids would have moved out of the house.
I thought I would have written a novel by now.
I thought I would have moved back to Indiana.
I thought I would care more about what car I drove.
I thought my marriage would be different than what it is.
I thought I would be smarter.
I thought I would have taken more vacations.
I thought one of the girls would have baked me a birthday cake at least one time.
I thought my mom would have lived to see me graduate from high school.
I thought that 56 would feel old.