Thursday, May 26, 2011

Party On

My brother and his wife got married in 1992, just as I was beginning my senior year in college.

The wedding was a beautiful celebration on the shores of Chesapeake Bay. 

The bride was beautiful, the groom was giddy, and the setting was sublime. Myself and the other youngsters at the wedding, however, largely ignored these meaningful details in order to concentrate on the reception's most important feature -- the open bar.

Yes, we partied. We partied hard.

But the young folks couldn't hold a candle to one other hard-core group at the party. You see, the wedding was child-free, which meant that the guests with young ones had been forced to find childcare back at home. And because the location was somewhat remote, almost all of them had opted to stay overnight without their kids.

And Holy Moses, did those folks go nuts!

I remember looking around the room and wondering what could possibly be wrong with them? I mean, they were doing shots at the bar; they were making a spectacle of themselves on the dance floor.  A few of them were even [GASP!] making out!

For the love of all decency -- some of these people were CLOSE TO FORTY!

Cut to last weekend, which found my husband and I heading to his sister's wedding in Bloomington, Indiana. We dropped the kids with a super capable college kid and headed off to the celebration, betuxed and begowned.

Closing in on forty ourselves, we pushed the youngsters aside and hit the bar. HARD. I thought back to that night in the early Nineties and felt a sudden kinship with the parents I had once disdained.

I realized that as a twenty-something there was nothing stopping me from partying whenever I wanted, which was great. But as an almost forty-something with young kids at home, I only get the chance to let loose a few times a year. So, when the opportunity comes along, I take it. And I make it count.

David and I were on fire. We drank copiously. We danced for hours on end. (Did a certain father of two attempt to execute an unsightly version of 'The Worm' in the center of a circle of guests? I won't say no.) We threw caution to the wind and crammed several months worth of fun into a single booze-fueled evening.

And, I will admit that I caught a couple of concerned looks from the twenty-somethings in the room. But, I just let them stare as I smiled back at them knowingly. Because someday I know they'll come to understand the simple truth...

...that there ain't no party like a parents of toddlers' party.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go find some more aspirin. 


Thursday, May 19, 2011

In the Time Before Marriage

There are many reasons why I'm happy to be married.

There's the fact that my husband is simultaneously handsome AND very, very nice. There's the greatness of having someone who is contractually obligated to pick me up at the airport when I've been traveling. But, perhaps most wonderful of all, is the simple fact that I no longer need to exit my house on a regular basis in order to attempt to find someone to get married to.

Because dating and I...were never exactly a match made in heaven.

Let me provide an example.

Back in the year 2000 I was living in Brooklyn, NY. I was nearing thirty and working at an internet startup that featured a host of 40-something dudes who wore backwards baseball caps and carried business cards with titles such as "Keeper of the Magic" and "Lead Thought Provoker". 

It was not great.

I lived in a crumbly third-floor walk-up which I could barely afford on my salary, and most disturbingly of all, I had recently received a wedding invitation addressed to myself and my younger sister.

Apparently the bride had become so accustomed to seeing the two of us accompanying each other to social events that she'd come to think of us a couple. 

It was not exactly the "life vibe" I had imagined for myself when I first headed starry-eyed into the big city (or at least its largest outer borough).

My sister, Anne, though five years my junior, was similarly disturbed by this beautifully calligraphied indictment of our life choices. We knew that it was time for a change.

We needed to start seeing other people.

Luckily, Anne had received an invitation to an event hosted by the New York Young Democrats which was being held at some posh nightclub on the Westside. The event seemed to offer a collective opportunity for salvation. 

We would attend! We would apply makeup to our visages and stuff our unsightly bulges into multiple pairs of Spanx! We would drink cocktails mesmerizingly in the eye-line of Hunky Liberal-Minded Menfolk (hereafter "the HLMM"). We would beguile the HLMM and make them our lifemates and we would leave our depressing and mundane existences behind!!

Off we went.

We arrived in the city and were ushered past the velvet ropes of an exclusive West Side nightclub. The place was packed with HLMM, each of whom looked as if he might have rowed crew at his respective Ivy League Universtity.

Snippets of conversation wafted over us:

"What you need to understand about the commodoties market..."

"At the Charter school I started..."

"You really must come to our place in the Hamptons..."

...and we knew that we were in the right place. That here, in this room filled with wealthy and handsome do-gooders, our single days might really come to an end.

We headed for the bar to arm ourselves with some booze before settling on a game plan to break into conversation with one of the multitudinous dreamboats.

Anne and I grabbed generous goblets of red wine and headed for the stairs, visions of an easy life in the suburbs with men named things like "Chip" dancing through our heads. We had confirmed from the bar area that it seemed to be quieter up stairs, where there appeared to be several small groupings of HLMM ripe for infiltration.

We were about halfway up when Anne caught her heel on the hem of her dress and fell forward.

In an awkward attempt to right herself my sister managed instead to throw her entire glass of Cabernet directly into her own face.

Time stopped.

Just feet away I could still see the
HLMM laughing and mingling. I knew I could still be one of them! And yet, their delightful cocktail conversation was being rapidly drowned out by Anne's increasingly desperate cries of,

"I'm blind! I'm blind!"

The hunt for her, clearly, was over.

But I had a choice to make. There was nothing stopping me from continuing forth in pursuit of the
HLMM alone (beginning with a requisite, "Get a load of this freak!" gesture towards my sister, who was by now clawing at her eyes in desperation).

But something deep inside me would simply not allow me to deny my own flesh and blood. Well, that and the realization that enough people had already seen us together that to do so might only further damage my now extremely shaky prospects.

And so, I gently guided my sister towards the nearest restroom where I managed to hose her off in the sink. She was able to regain her eyesight, but unfortunately both of our carefully put together looks had taken some fatal blows.

We squished back out into the club, bedraggled and forlorn. 

The line at the bar was now too long to consider and from the looks were we getting from the HLMM, there weren't going to be too many takers on the two of us in our soggy state. We called it a loss and headed out into the cool Manhattan evening in utter defeat. 

We spent the remainder of the evening at our favorite 2nd Avenue bar, drowning our sorrows in multiple slices of pizza and ill-advised quantities of beer.

It would be two more years before Anne met her lovely husband, Matt, and we broke up at long last. I'd go it alone for three more years before meeting David and getting married myself.

Still, every once in a while we look back on our night with the HLMM and raise a toast to that glass of red wine. Because looking back, we understand that it was one part of the road that led us to where we are now. 

And we're grateful that it saved us from a life in the suburbs with some HLMM named Chip.

Friday, May 13, 2011

When the Internets Attack

It seems my most recent post has been ingested by the 'Great Meltdown of 2011'. Look for a new entry this coming week!

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Unfortunately I did not write a new blog entry this week. 

Instead what I did was this:

  • I left for a romantic three-day romantic/luxurious golf getaway with my husband.
  • I remembered about six minutes into said romantic/luxurious golf getaway that when going on a romantic/luxurious golf getaway it is wisest NOT to bring two children under three.
  • I took a trip to the playground in hopes of tiring the children out enough that husband and I might squeeze some enjoyment out of our romantic/luxurious golf getaway.
  • I instead earned myself a free trip to the ER to address the dislocated elbow Snoodie acquired during this playground outing.
  • I consoled husband the next morning when golf portion of romantic/luxurious golf getaway was cancelled due to unseasonal hail.
  • I moved on from husband's concerns re: golf as soon as Snoodie began projectile vomiting, thus coating every surface of luxury hotel room in toddler puke.
  • I spent the rest of the day cleaning up now non-luxury hotel room, while attempting to convince the Snood to remain contained within the bathroom until the puking ceased, despite his ceaseless cries of, "I DON'T WANT IN HERE!" between bouts of nausea.
  • Having finally gotten tucked in that night, my husband and I took to our bed to order room service and get a movie off of Pay-Per-View. 
  • I chose the film 'Morning Glory'. 
  • The resulting two-hours may well have been the worst thing that happened to us all weekend.
  • I finally limped home yesterday with my husband and both children in tow.
  • I settled the children into their own beds with an epic sigh of relief.
  • Approximately six minutes later, I realized that my sigh of relief was premature. Because, I too had been...INFECTED. 
  • I spent the entirety of last night being revisited by each bite of Southwestern food I had ingested in the previous three days. And also, possibly some snacks I had in 1982.
  • This morning, I managed to shakily rise from my towel on the bathroom floor where I'd fervently been praying for the sweet release of death for the past twelve hours.
  • At which point Crinks decided to join the party and started throwing up with a surprising fervor for an 11-month-old.
So it is that I have no heart warming tales of motherhood for you this week, nor any trenchant reflections on the nature of child-rearing. 

Instead I have a very sore body, some lingering chills and a growing suspicion that I might have worked as a part-time puppy executioner in a previous life, when not pursuing my passion for kicking orphans. 

It would seem the only possible explanation for this recent run of luck.

Now if you'll excuse me I need to go tend to my husband. He's looking a little green....