Sunday, November 18, 2012

Movie night

CWC, on movie selections . . .

Sally: I found some movies on OnDemand we could watch.

Curtis: Okay, what?

Sally: _The Afflicted_ . . .

Curtis: Uh huh.

Sally: _The Flat_ . . .

Curtis: Yeah.

Sally: _Hitler's Children_ . . .

Curtis: Okay.

Sally: Or _How to Survive a Plague_.

Curtis: So, child abuse, 2 Nazi movies, and a movie about AIDS. SallyLand is a very dark place, isn't it?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Yeah, well, I have more time off. So there.

On the subject of job perks . . .

Curtis: It's Waffle Week at work.

Sally: What does that mean?

Curtis: I just got this email: "We're celebrating National Waffle Week.  Please join us in the 7th floor café on Thursday, September 13 from 8:30–10am with a delicious Belgian waffle breakfast. Enjoy freshly made-to-order Belgian waffles covered in all your favorite toppings including strawberries, blueberries, maple syrup, powdered sugar and whipped cream."

Sally: I hate your stupid job, with your Mr. Omelette visits, and your box seats at baseball games, and your fancy winter parties, and your quarterly team-building exercises, which just sound like excuses to get shellacqued. If there were a bed here in my office, I'd throw myself down on it and cry.

Curtis: You could do that here. We have a Quiet Room.

Sally: Is that like a breastfeeding room?

Curtis: No, it's different from the breastfeeding room. The Quiet Room has a big comfy reclining chair, and if you just need 30 minutes to yourself, for like a nap or something, you can go in there anytime you want. If you need it longer, you have to sign out blocks of time.

Sally: Go to hell.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The zoo

We are eternally looking for, noticing, discussing, and thinking about cute animals. A common exclamation is "Aw, look at that little baby!" and "There's a cute thing!", whenever we spy something adorable out and about.

The other night, we were chatting in the kitchen when Curtis, as he is wont to do, made me aware of something cute: "Aw, look at that little cute thing!" he said, pointing to the corner. It took a second to sink in before he realized: "Oh God! That's Bubby! Bubby, you aren't supposed to be out!"

So yeah, the unexpected cute thing in the corner of the kitchen? One of our chinchillas, who had escaped when one of us didn't lock the door all the way.

Chasing ensued.

Dispatches from a parallel universe

Six or seven years ago (or more) I signed up for PerfectMatch, then completely forgot about it, because I never received any matches, and then I started dating the guy I later married.

I forgot about it, that is, until today, when I received a notification that a guy named "Kurt" was my match. He's very much like my husband (into politics, gardening, and the outdoors; is relaxed and optimistic), so I notified Curtis that he had some competition:

Sally: Well, I have a type, I guess. Pretty funny.

Curtis: Aside from the Christian, country music and healthy food choice he's pretty close to me. I'm going to keep my eye on this Kurt fellow.

Sally:  Don't front. You know you were listening to Kenny Chesney and eating quinoa on our way to the snake-handling the other day.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

It changes when you get older

Disclaimer: I can't remember who I had this conversation with. I feel like it was either Curtis, Jim, or Tracy, but I'm not sure.

On terms changing with age . . .

Sally: I would totally ride in a stroller. That looks so comfortable.

Other person: Yeah.

Sally: I wish they made strollers for adults.

Other person: That's called a wheelchair.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Facing Death Daily

On Celebrating with and through Pain:

I met my very best friend in the entire world, Tracy, when we started in graduate school at the same time at the University of South Carolina, in August 1997. I won’t go into the unpleasant details, but my time there was not the happiest period of my life.

Things did improve, though, and I made friends both in school and in the city. Not the least of them being Tracy.

One of the first things we created was “Tracy and Sally Face Death Daily!” This statement refers to the fact that we were always barely dodging some form of automobile-related death. As our friend Jason said: Tracy knows traffic laws, and chooses to ignore them. Sally isn’t aware that traffic laws exist.

Beyond all of the unpleasantness of my first time around in graduate school, she became the sister I never had. She and I had our good times and bad, and we made it through all of them. We lived together for four years, and when we made the decision to live separately, it was honestly like we got a divorce. But, like all good couples who are wonderful together, but who are just not meant to live in the same residence, we came back together later and are stronger than ever.

She was there for me through my mother’s illness and death; she was the maid of honor at my wedding (and she even gave a toast, under duress; I'm looking down her dress in the next photo);

and she was there when I was almost arrested for the illegal transportation of an easel.

She is the only person who can dole out tough love to me, even though my husband attempts it. When he does it, it manifests as him yelling at me and me telling him to stop being mean. Then he apologizes, and I go back to doing whatever self-destructive or ill-advised thing I was doing before, because he’s afraid to stop me. She, on the other hand, can talk me down out of any tree.

For our 10th anniversary, she told me that we were going to re-create our first bonding experience: we spent the Saturday before Labor Day in Charleston, SC. The first time she and I hung out, it was on the Saturday before Labor Day, in Charleston, in 1997. There were other people there, but one of them I prefer not to speak to, another I’d like to see but can’t find, and the other I’d rather never see again. 

But I digress.

For our 10th anniversary, though, we were going to go to Charleston for a whole weekend. We were going to stay in a nice hotel, and we were going to eat nice meals, and we were going to shop.

Most importantly, there was a spa in our hotel, the venerable Francis Marion, and we were going to do Spa Things.

Most of that went well. We ate a delicious dinner at Slightly North Of Broad (S.N.O.B.); we shopped on King Street; we wandered around the city.

And we did Spa Things.

We each had two procedures: we each got some sort of wrap, both of which went well.

And Tracy got a scalp massage. And I got a hot stone massage. Those didn’t go as well.

I’d never had a hot stone massage before, but I was entranced by the idea: warm, smooth stones are placed in strategic places on your back, thereby turning your muscles to butter, and making you feel nice and relaxed. Sounds lovely, right?

I’ve since been told by others that what I experienced was not normal. And if it is normal, then I’m pretty sure it was created by the Marquis de Sade. And even he found it uncomfortable.

The first three rocks the guy put on my back were blisteringly hot. And I do mean “blisteringly.” They left gigantic rock-shaped blisters on my tailbone and lower spine. When he put the first one on, I really did think it was going to melt through to the towel I was lying on. I gasped, wincing through tears, “That’s really hot.” He said, “They’re supposed to be.” Next Phoenix-in-August asphalt sphere, please!

By the time he’d gotten to the end, my nerve endings had shorted out and I’d reached this strange sort of pain-induced nirvana, so it actually felt good. When the wrap began, I just went to sleep. I now understand that I was probably in shock.

I came out, a bit dazed and wide-eyed, in this uncomfortably euphoric state, and found Tracy paying, and looking annoyed.

Sally: How’d it go?

Tracy: Fine. Let’s go.

Sally: Okay . . .

Out on the street, she turned to me and fumed:

Tracy: I can’t believe I got a scalp massage!

Sally: Why?

Tracy: I basically just paid someone $45 to rub my head for 10 minutes. With oil. So now my hair’s dirty, and I need to take another shower.

Sally: Okay.

Tracy: Are you okay?

Sally: Yeah. My butt sort of hurts.

Tracy: What did you have done, exactly?

Sally: Hot stone massage. Does my back look okay?

Tracy: Holy shit! That’s blistering!

Sally: Oh. Let’s go eat.

Tracy: Are you okay?

Sally: Yeah. (I wasn’t.)

So this Labor Day, for our 15th anniversary, we’re Facing Death Daily again, in Spa form. We couldn’t make it back to Charleston this year, so instead we’re going to the Charleston of Northern Virginia: Old Town Alexandria.

Go ahead and start sending flowers to the burn ward at Inova Alexandria.

About a Glass

My mother loved beer. She never wanted to drink a whole bottle all at once; that wasn't ladylike. Instead, she wanted to drink it out of a little fancy glass.

Whenever I came home to see my mom, I would call to ask her what I needed to pick up on the way. Once, we had the now-classic conversation:

Sally: What do you need?

Mom: [Various groceries]

Sally: Anything else?

Mom: Cigarettes. We're out of cigarettes.

Sally: Okay. Got it.

Mom: Hold on. [confers with Dad off-phone] Your dad says you should buy some lottery tickets. He thinks you're lucky.

Sally: Has he met me? Okay, lottery tickets. Got it.

Mom: Oh, and beer. We don't have any beer, so get some.

Sally: Okay. So: cigarettes, lottery tickets, and beer. Would you like me to get you some hookers, too, Mom?

Mom: No, I think we're all full up here.

Anyhoo, I'd buy her the beer of her choice, and then she would drink a 6-pack, measured out in fancy little glasses.

When I brought Curtis home for the first time, she was delighted to have a partner in her beer-drinking; I'm not a beer fan, so I never wanted to share beer with her. Aunt Connie was a wine drinker. Dad would sometimes indulge her, but he had died a year and a half earlier.

Curtis, on the other hand, was happy to. This was how they bonded.

Scene: Curtis and I arrive at my mother's house. We bring up all of our luggage, and Mom enthusiastically tells me how hot he is. Curtis is unpacking the groceries, and he asks if I want a glass of wine, and he asks Mom if she wants anything to drink.

Mom: What are you having?

Curtis: I'm having beer. Sally can have her stupid wine.

Mom: How about we split one?

Curtis: Sure!

And she shows him the little glass she drinks beer out of, the little fancy one.

And every time Curtis and I went to see her, they split beers, Curtis drinking out of the bottle, Mom drinking out of the little fancy glass. She tended to like lighter, gentler beers: lagers and pilsners. 

Mom and Curtis bonded, and I often suspected she liked him more than she liked me. When she was in and out of the hospital over the course of a year and a half, he went with me every time to see her.

And when she died in 2009, and we cleaned out her house, he made sure he took one thing.

Here's to you, Murm. Drinking a glass of  Tilted Smile Imperial Pilsner in your memory. We love you. We miss you every day.