Thursday, September 27, 2012

one of these things is not like the others

I got tired of guessing which shoes were in which boxes. And for that other one, well, there wasn't enough room in the pantry.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

whatever you do, don't puke on her shoes

"So I know we got the t-shirts with his face on them; what are you going to wear underneath?"

"Um, the usual, Mom. Maybe a long-sleeve t-shirt because it's going to be cold."

"No I mean pants. should I wear dress pants?"

"You know this party is in a bar, right? I'm going to wear jeans."

"What kind of shoes?"

"I'm wearing gym shoes, but you can wear sandals--I know your feet get hot sometimes."

"No way! I don't want to get vomit on my feet!"


"That's what happens in bars! People drink too much and then they throw up on your shoes."

"Have you ever been to a bar, ma?"

"Of course I have! Remember that one time my friend's son was getting married and she dragged me to her daughter-in-law's Bachelorette party? That was in a bar!"

"Did someone puke on you?"

"No, but she threw up NEAR me. And it splashed!"

"Oh my God Mom, no one is going to throw up on you at my brother's birthday party."

"I probably used up all the paper towels in that bathroom cleaning my feet off--oh my goodness it smelled so bad, too!"

"MOM. I can almost guarantee that no one will throw up anywhere near you at his party. I promise if it looks like it might happen, I will stand in front of you and take the splash."

"Oh and the one who threw up was a grownup lady! You know she was like 50 years old? What disgusting behavior. This is why I don't approve of drinking."

"Nobody is going to make you drink, mother."

"And people weren't looking where they were walking, Cadiz, they were STEPPING in it! It was yuck."

"Ok, then you'd better wear your gym shoes, then."

"I don't care if my feet are hot. I have to protect myself."

Thursday, September 20, 2012

teetering around like a drunken flamingo

I find that it is a good idea to shave my legs immediately after a rigorous workout. Trying to do it the next day--when I can hardly move--is just a disaster.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

they're all around us

"I asked your sister about the 'server mafia.' "

"What did she say?"

"She wanted to know if they'd asked you if it was a special occasion."

"I thought about it when I made the reservation, but then I thought eh, there's no need."

"Then how the heck did he know it was our anniversary? It could have been my birthday, your birthday, the 225th anniversary of the Signing of the Constitution, anything!"

"It was a little creepy."

"Kind of like that time when the girl mailed you the card asking how dinner with my parents went."

"Yeah, that was odd, too."

"I'm telling you--the servers have spies everywhere! She just can't admit it out loud or they'll break her knees."

Monday, September 17, 2012


Growing up, I never really dreamed about the man I was going to marry, but there were a few must-have qualities he'd need to seal the deal: He had to be really good at directions and mathematics (you know, for helping the kids with homework), handy at building and fixing things like my dad, and he also wouldn't mind doing the dishes. In fact, back when everyone who had a blog was writing 100 things about themselves, I basically announced it to the world.
76) my partner will be able to tutor math, enjoy doing dishes and will be good at directions and foot massage. he will also value thoughtfulness and talent and will not be fazed by excessive speeds or lane changes on the highway. when his arms are around me, i will forget my problems.
Little did I know that my life partner was reading that list, and even posted a comment.

But roughly five months after that post, I was picking him up at Midway Airport--aggressively passing and changing lanes, which didn't even make him flinch--and falling in love with him at the top of the Sears Tower. Three years after that post, he gave up balmy Southern California for hot-and-cold Chicago to be with me. Four years after that post, he gave me his great-great grandmother's ring from Germany and asked me to be his wife. And one year ago, today, he held my hands under a gazebo in front of God and everybody and promised to do the dishes for the rest of his life.

If only I had been able to sneak that bit into his vows.

We have to take turns washing the dishes, but it's a small concession given all the stuff that is wonderful about the guy:
  • He doesn't hold it against me if I fall asleep in the middle of a conversation. 
  • He patiently explains the use of any and all gadgetry, often repeating himself without being condescending. I've said it before, he should be an explainer for a living. 
  • In his youth he delivered pizza, which just honed his strong sense of direction.
  • He's loving and thoughtful and sweet to his family. And mine.
  • All the children (and cats) we know are enamored with him. I've finally come to terms with the fact that he will always be the favorite. 
  • He is the most open-minded person I know, and because of him I've realized that not everything is black and white.
  • When I drag him to the fabric store, he doesn't roll his eyes.
  • His faithfulness to athletic teams is unmatched. If he would be half as devoted to me, I'd be a happy woman for life. 
  • He fixes his own car, and the plumbing, and the remote control.
  • The man is an excellent baker. This is good because my idea of measuring ingredients is to shake a little into the pan until it looks right. He uses a kitchen scale. 
  • He loves television as much as I do. And cheese.
You get the gist: I love this man. I'm so happy to be married to him. And I'm still amazed that we were able to find something so right by randomly bumping into each other in the comments section of a blog. I love you, Jon.

Photo by SecondPrint Productions
Let's always be this happy.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012


This summer, cc and I took a road trip to St. Louis, where my brother now resides in a cute second-floor walk-up apartment. It's his first solo place, and it was funny to watch him debating whether to get a living-room rug, attempting to caulk the window casing that was letting in ants and even showing off the fancy coffeemaker-with-the-cups that his girlfriend, M, got him as a housewarming present. Actually, it was kind of adorable.

I was in Mother Hen mode, worrying he didn't have enough towels, surveying the neighborhood suspiciously, lecturing him about how frivolous it is to sign up for pricey tv packages when he's only there on the weekends. Cc had to shoot me the "dude, he's a big boy," look at least once an hour. And I get it: The guy jet-sets around the country, drinks heartily, holds down a demanding job and still manages to feed himself and take his medicine every day. Sure, he is a big boy. But I can't help it--whenever I look at him, this is what I see.

Probably sometime in 1984 or 1985. On the lawn of the local college (which apparently has now become a University).

It was after some event, and my friends and their mom were hanging out with us on the lawn until my mother came to pick us up. My brother started getting anxious. He was a stubborn little one, and after he had his mind set there is nothing you could say to convince him to change it. Everyone was trying to soothe him, distract him with jokes or games, but he kept asking when mom was coming. I did the only thing I could think of and picked him up. My arms were sore, but I held on tight and did not put that kid down until she pulled into the parking lot.

It's always been like that. Maybe I feel extra responsible because I prayed so hard for a brother and my mom did a good job convincing me that I summoned him and I could never give him back:
i let my mother deal with the noise and the mess, but if i do say myself, i was damn good. i even got to choose his nickname: mickey mouse, even though they shortened it to mickey. i didn't even get that upset when people fawned all over him instead of me; but if they were hogging, they'd hear it. of course he's gorgeous, you think i'd pick an ugly one? hello! dammit, i did all the work to get this kid, i wasn't about to let some auntie leave her nasty lipstick all over him.
But my brother bought into it too. When he went to the doctor and had to get shots, he often wanted me with him instead of one of the parents. My dad would playfully ask "Whose are you, mommy's or daddy's?" and the kid would say "my sister's" (he's always been very clever). And for years, every time drunk dials were to be made, I was sure to get a ring. Those are the rare times when he's chatty.

While we were in St. Louis, they took us to this place downtown called Rooster (10 different types of bloody Marys!). My brother was nursing his coffee and picking at his French toast, silent as usual. I looked over and saw a black spot on the side of his head that I hadn't seen before--was it a weird mark or some kind of mole? I reached over to touch his face. He jumped away as if my finger was a red-hot iron poker and asked me what the hell I was doing. Cc's eyeroll was practically audible. What? It's not like I licked my finger to clean off his face or something.

Later that day while he was driving the car, I saw Girlfriend M reach over and touch my brother's face in that same spot with the black mark. He turned and smiled at her in just the way that my husband smiles at me when I absently run my hand over his very soft beard. And at that moment it *finally* clicked for me. He really isn't a baby anymore. He's, like, a man. And of course he will be turning to a significant other for reassurances, not us. Which is the way it really ought to be. It just took me a long time to accept it.

Today my brother turns 30. I am so proud of the man that he is. He's intelligent, strong and under all that sarcasm, very kind. The fact that he orchestrated and attended a girls' trip to Las Vegas for my bachelorette party (he was maid of honor) last summer speaks to how much he loves me, too. And when we had that car accident in December, he calmly took charge of the situation while I fell apart like a soggy Kleenex at the thought of nearly killing him.

I may no longer be able to make him feel better by picking him up and squeezing him tight. But I hope he knows that no matter how old we both get, I will always be there for him. And he will never have to be alone.

Happy birthday, brother.