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a beginning, a middle and an end.

25 Nov

i have been putting off this post for weeks.

instead, i’ve been rightly filling my time chasing the mouse-maybe-rat (thanks for nothing, 120 year old house), consuming oaked white wines and nourishing my deeply committed relationship with cheese.

and while i’d like to think of myself as almost a seasoned professional in my procrastination abilities, the time has come to face the inevitable. to walk the metaphorical plank, so to speak, to put my head on the guillotine whilst violently screaming: “vive la france!”

no? too far? anyway, point is – i need to wrap this shit up. and well, kittens, it’s been a real ride, hasn’t it?

like most things i do, you may recall that i was wildly unprepared to write this blog linked to my rando move to india.  in the beginning, i knew that i didn’t want to write about, like, all the creepy-ass goats i was seeing on the street and so on, highlighting 24/7 how completely different life was in calcutta. i mean – it’s a scooch implied that life is different in india – it’s f*&king india.

so i quickly realized that the best way to your wonderfully weird little hearts was by telling you some of my best secrets, trash talking the laundry list of jerks i’ve known in my 28 years and enlightening you on exactly how two bone fide crazy newlyweds make it through their first year of marriage -while 12,952 km apart.

and so it was: one long, swear-word encrusted (bedazzled, really) teenage telephone conversation – that sometimes referred to india.

but by the middle of it all, finally finding my voice simply wasn’t enough – it had turned out that randomly moving to india wasn’t so easy afterall. work became difficult, the thrill of living in the country of dust-turned-mud-turned-dust-again and spice had quickly worn off. basically, it blew. hardcore.

and frankly it was you, kind readers, who came to the rescue in so many ways. your mostly-insane comments, your revelations of devotion to this humble teenaged telephone conversation of a blog, your personal messages and – in some cases – your packages filled with booty (pirate, not ass – here and here too!) helped me get over my self-imposed exile.

(and let’s be honest here, the americans filled in the rest of the blanks with their exceptional taste in imported wine, unwavering devotion to western tv shows and propensity for hosting mexcian-themed murder mysteries. ole indeed, bitches.)

then just as quickly as i began this craziness, got over the fact that india – yes, all 1.2 billion of it – was a jerk, things were over. because for the many oh-so-complicated reasons, i left my work early for the homeland where the nachos are free range and the sewers are closed.

but doing as i have done leaves you different. even now – and probs for a while to come –  i am struggling to figure out what it all meant. working to convince myself that it’s ok to let this experience change me – even if it’s maybe not for the best.

this has been our journey together. and this is where it ends – for now.

listen, you don’t realize it, but you owe me. i’ve rarely preached to you about crap like “politics” and the “economic crisis” etc and so on. i’ve kept it to the interesting stuff  – like how i ditched my now husband while dressed like a pirate-hooker . the truly important discussions, ya know?

so now, you must listen to me as i take my moment to preach atop the metaphorical soapbox.

whoever, wherever and whatever you are – i am telling you that we are all able to do almost anything we want in this life. the path that is defined for us – whatever that path looks like in your world – isn’t always the way we have to play it.

it’s totes ok to take b.f.r’s (big f&*king risks) because not only do they give you mad street cred (“well when i was living in calcutta…” = kind of bad ass) but they are often the ones that are the most worthwhile. remember i told you once that nothing worth fighting for is ever easy? well it’s true.

i leave you with this: sometimes when it’s a bajillion degrees celcius during a 2 hour black out and you’ve just frantically stepped in a sewer that reaches your almost-knee-cap, whilst skinning your arm trying to protect your face from the garbage which you will surely fall into because of the whole leg-in-sewer thang, you enjoy a good old fashioned motivational quote.

this is the one that i repeated to myself that night, covered in shit, while being laughed at by probably 50 + indians:  “at any given moment you have the power to say ‘this is not how the story is going to end’.” and that’s a fact.

fact.

thank you, everyone. for everything.

xo al

t is for thanks. and turkey.

10 Oct

thanksgiving is a special time – good food, copious amounts of chilled chardy and entertaining family drama.  but sookie sookie, i have another, more secret, reason for loving thanksgiving.

before we get to that though, you may recall that i have told you the story of the first time husband and i met (a ball + vodka + a disappearing act). what i neglected to mention in that little tale is that in between the first meeting and our official coupledom, there was about seven months. (when i said i ran away – i wasn’t kidding…)

well it was seven months of being just friends – seven months of learning about each other and of building to that moment. you know, the moment when you realize that hey – i’d like him to be my more-than-a-friend.

and well for us that moment came on a thanksgiving weekend. we had been talking a lot, and one night – in typical ‘him’ fashion – he randomly invited me to travel five hours to come and spend the holiday with him and his friends.

now, i’m a logical human girl, so i knew this was kind of odd. i knew that most people would probably have said he should be wooing me in more obvious ways, like say, with a giant panda bear and maybe a string quartet and champers on a picnic blanket.

so after making mental lists, pivot tables and several venn diagrams on my options –  i swiftly got on a bus and made my way into the vast unknown.

and yup, since we hadn’t really spent much time together since the epic first meeting, it was a little awkward at the beginning. i mean, what did i know about this guy other than the fact that he dances well when drunk and likes pizza kind of a lot?

but then something funny happened.

i was standing in his parents’ kitchen, freezing my tush off and looking out on the deck at him with his big group of friends. they were all talking and laughing and telling stories from 10 + years ago.

i just stood there thinking: “wow, this guy loves his friends. and they love him. and i love that. oh f*&k…”

and i feel like, honestly, that was the moment – simple as it was. i knew that in that instant i would probably never be a so-called logical human girl around him again.  if he wanted me to take a bus to the moon i totes would: c’est l’amour.

so thanksgiving is a wonderful time for all of the normal reasons – but it will always be just a little bit more perfectly perfect for me and him. i will simply never forget that feeling of standing in a freezing cold kitchen being insanely and irrationally thankful that he asked me to come visit.

happy turkey day, kind readers. (and happy non-wedding anniversary, kind husband.)

t is for thanks

hey it’s me, husband: i came, i saw, i was sweaty.

15 Sep

well, it seems like just a moment ago that i was getting off a plane, tired, but very happy to see my lovely wife. now two weeks have flown by and it’s almost time to get back on that plane. sad.

i will miss some things about kolkata – and i wont miss others. let’s start with the former and end on a good note with the latter.

i won’t miss the sounds of kolkata – honking horns, mid 90’s ringtones, wild packs of dogs yelping and barking. i won’t miss the less desirable sights, such as children begging at every street corner, public urination, piles of garbage and dead animals. i won’t miss the smells, like human pee, and i won’t miss the heat. (if you’re one of those “i love the heat” people understand this heat is unbearable. especially for a big man. enough said.)

if you’re thinking that’s a lot of negatives…well you’d be right. this place is challenging, but that’s because life is always happening around you – the good, bad and ugly. and in a way i can see the beauty in that.

frankly – and perhaps obviously – the thing i’ll miss most about kolkata is my lovely wife. in the past 5 months she has impressively adapted to this crazy city: yelling at cabbies who try to rip us off, dealing with the crowds and counter attacking the indian staring habit with great determination. just by living here, she is making me so proud.

i can be anywhere,  including this crazy place, as long as it’s with her. when we’re together i just know that everything will be alright. she’s my p.i.c – partner in crime.

so that’s it from me in india…now back to your regularly scheduled al.

us

when skies are grey.

11 Sep

it’s 1 am and i am getting up in a few hours to leave for darjeeling (tea, mount everest, not kolkata) but had to tell you something i learned tonight about the husband.

we have this slideshow our wedding photographer put together of all the “best shots” from our tiny (well, miniature really) wedding in december. it’s a magical slideshow set to the beatles ‘here comes the sun’ and it makes me smile each time i watch it.

sometimes i watch it at work. sometimes i watch it while drinking chilled chardy and shedding an oh-so-tiny tear. sometimes i watch it with other people.

i thought that i was probably alone in this quiet little ritual. i mean, we’ve been married a while now, i figured the sheen of the day had somewhat worn off – especially for the husband.

but tonight, as i showed the slideshow to miss jp (aka the ringleader of the americans) the husband said: “i love this slideshow. i  love it. sometimes i watch it at work when i really miss you.”

my heart skipped about 34095 beats.

apparently the big man watches our little wedding slideshow at work when he misses me the mostest. in doing so he reflects on our special day, which in turn brings him just a little closer to me on the days when skies are grey.

what a revelation – i thought i was the only one sneaking a peek at this slideshow 7, 8 and 9 months out!

even though these drab and dreary days aren’t here right now, i just had to tell you that his tiny admission made me smile. and, if you haven’t already seen them, it made me want to share these very special wedding moments with you all.

if you are so inclined, you may view our small wedding slideshow here. (pictures courtesy of the brilliant andria lo of orange photography)

while we are off to darjeeling tomorrow to make new memories, i’ve realized that the moments of love and commitment from our wedding day will help carry us through trying times – no matter how many years pass. and this makes me think we did it right.

reunited.

3 Sep

and it feels so good.

he's in india. finally.

i’m so happy for you.

29 Aug

so the last week or so has seen me taking a break from india.  not an official break mind you, although i’ve been close a few times.  this small moment away is really for your sake because you’re about to get a shit-storm of indian updates when the husband gets here in just five days. five days bitches!

for now, we move on to other things.

i grew up – let’s be honest here – in a bit of a showy suburban community. and because i’m a product of my environment, i am always  keen to learn tidbits of gossip about the individuals who speckled my youth.

i recently heard, by somewhat shady means, that this uppity chick i grew up with got engaged. so, as you do,  i laughed to myself and thought “wow, wonder what her fo’ shiz tacky 2 bajillion dollar engagement ring looks like.  what is she, a kardashian? pfffft.”

my awesome insult aside,  i quickly forgot about her and moved on to more important things. things like chardonnay.

but a few days later the i noticed that she popped back into my head – despite me screaming “get out, out, out” in lady macbeth styles.  clearly, the fact that she – of all people – had found someone to actually marry her was causing subconscious distress.

setting the scene for a scooch, this girl was the holier-than-thou kind: she was loaded, pretty and smart. if she’d been a genuinely nice person, accepting her winning-the-lottery-of-life wouldn’t have been so bad. but she wasn’t – she was a total bitch.

yet, everyone, including me, still held her up as their own personal benchmark of coolness. as it often goes with the ones we love to hate.

i knew her for almost 15 years. so this got me thinking, could she really have changed so much that i actually believed that she could be humble and selfless enough to be someone’s wife?

now that was a thinker.

so last night as i listened to a little marvin gaye and got to pondering this whole idea of character changes – one of my exes popped into my mind.

this guy was quite possibly the living, breathing anti-christ. a liar and a cheater in the most flamboyantly creative of ways, i am convinced he is probably the worst person i have ever met to date.

but dudes, about six months ago, someone actually married this guy!

i mean, we were together a while, so i saw first hand what a terrible human being he was. (and yes, i realize this opens up a series of questions about me, but not now – jeez!)  how much could the anti-christ ex really have changed in the five or six years since we split up that he went from being a potential maniac to someone’s life partner?

come on now.

i frequently and  fully own the fact that i’ve been a real cough, see-you-next-tuesday, cough to certain individuals. these select people, when they learned that i got married through the suburban network of secrets and lies, probably wondered “who the hell would marry her? no seriously, who?”

and the truth is, i can’t blame them.

the moment i met the husband something clicked: i just wanted to be more than i was. i saw how good he was to his friends to his family to everyone he ever met and i knew i needed to unlock that part of my heart that was better – more than it was bitchy.

and thus began my real self. the real improved one, anyway.

so as much as i’d like to accept that the pretentious super skank and the psycho ex are still the same awful people they used to be, i have to give them the benefit of the doubt.

maybe now they’re tricked out versions of their former selves, more empathetic, grounded and sane, because of the love of a good man or woman. maybe because of this, they will make wonderful spouses.

and if that is so, then i am really-and-truly happy for them. well…89.54% happy, 10.46% insult-hurling.

so here’s to love. all consuming, life-changing, personality changing love. i hope these jokers have found it.

 

the logic of fish and fear.

18 Aug

there are several things in this world that make me…for lack of a better phrase…highly suspicious. the first of these things are butterflies. the second are birds. and the third, oh the third, are fish.

while it is primarily by coincidence that these are all living things, my guess is it is not coincidental that each of these creatures has one unifying characteristic: unpredictability.

butterflies constantly flutter around getting all up in your business, birds can attack literally at any moment and fish – well for god sakes – they just slink around in a slimy state acting as if they own the joint. those bastards.

well, despite weeks of protest, the husband is about to embark on a 4 day fishing trip in northern bc where his primary goal will be to interact with most, if not all of the above. most terrifyingly of which are fish. more specifically, salmon.

have you ever actually seen a salmon? if not, well enjoy this visual feast:

evil bastards

they are really f*&king ugly! and what’s worse is that i’m almost positive they are the al capone’s of the ocean – ruling the seas with an iron fist (fish) looking for unsuspecting victims to maul.

this hardcore scientific reasoning is why i am completely and utterly beyond panicked about husband’s fishing trip.

i’m seriously not kidding when i say that for the last week i have been having these insane visions of le husband falling off a boat into seriously deep waters, freezing to death and/or being carried away by a band of salmon. which sounds sorta like fun, until you factor in their innate evil-dom.

was i scared about getting married? nope. moving 12,952 km away to india? nah. walking around seriously putrid kolkata slums day in and day out? come on now.

but am i – no joke – terrified for my husband’s safety as he takes those tiny putt-putt planes to no-cell reception no-internet northern bc to taunt salmon for 4 days. and narwhals. but don’t even get me started on narwhals.

so the things we fear are sometimes idiotic, but does that make them any less valid? probably not.

this being the case, today  – like many days come to think of it – i thank god for chilled chardonnay.

what the what?

the things that change us.

8 Aug

when i first interviewed for the fellowship in india everyone was all up in a huff-a-duff because i was about to get married. oddly, they seemed to accept that i was qualified for the job (which was mostly untrue), but could not understand that i was 2 seconds away from being someone’s wife.

the guy interviewing me said the following:

“there are two times in my life that i have significantly changed. the first was my freshman year of college and the second was my initial year in india. how will you deal with this as a couple?”

what-ever.

so apparently 2 past fellows who were married ended up divorced after spending the year apart from their respective spouses. fine, that’s sad stuff – but is that any reason to be all wackadoo and newlywedist? (kinda like racist…but for newlyweds. no? not good?)

sigh. despite how crazy i think it is that this fellowship could break up anyone’s marriage – the interview-guy’s words do subconsiously stick with me.

i often find myself wondering – how am i changing with each day that passes? am i changing so much that the husband won’t even recognize me? or worse, that the dog won’t recognize me? ohmysweetlord.

but i guess if i objectively float outside my body like a really attractive ghost, i can see that i am changing. just a smidge.

i am learning to just go with the flow. (“oh – is that a giant disgusting puddle that i must walk through – oh – did my sandal just break and now i have to go through it shoe-less? so it goes i guess. onward!”) it’s either go with the flow or cry 23 out of 24 hours. and that seems like a lot of work.

i am getting better at relinquishing control – although it is an ongoing challenge. (may i casually remind you of my month-long fight with india. ahem.)  despite my struggles, i have given up trying to have a mind-blowing impact on my company.  instead, i am just trying to make a few modest – yet still important -improvements that might help in future.

i’m also learning that i have a temper. literally kittens, i had to give myself a time out today because i was totally going to punch several faces after a shit-ton of idiocy ensued.  it was a real-live ‘supernanny’ time out too – one minute for each year of my age. that’s 27.5 minutes on the balcony watching cows eat grass. praise be to ‘supernanny’.

finally, i feel like i am truly internalizing – perhaps for the first time – the most important things in life: family, good friends and of course the diabolical dog. at the end of the day, these characters are really all that matters. (nachos excluded, of course.)

so yeah, there is likely some validity to the interview-guy’s cryptic speech on life change – india or no india.  but guess in the end it’s all about how we choose to change.

will you do it by fighting to bring those you love along for the ride, or will you just slowly become a person who kinda resembles this other dude who everyone used to know.

i’m opting for the former, mainly cause i like a good ‘ol fashioned challenge.

here for no other reason than i wish i lived inside it a little bit.

he’s a good egg.

2 Aug

i have no idea what the phase ‘a good egg’ really means or where it originates from, but in my almost-asleep-dom i think it refers to someone or something being kind of awesome.

so tonight as i fall into my advil cold and flu slumber, (because apparently food poisoning has morphed into a cold? yeah, i said what the f*&k too.) i am using it to describe my husband.

because man, he’s a good egg.

i really won’t regale you with all the exact reasons, because there are lots and that could get boring really fast for everyone involved, but basically today he said all the right things at all the right moments – and i just really appreciated that.

(appreciated it in general, yes, but also appreciated it more specifically because my day consisted of breaking down in uncontrollable tears-o-rage in a hospital parking lot during a rainstorm. a story for another time, perhaps? then again, maybe not.)

whether it’s listening as i gab about my coworkers, the people who are disappointing, the people who are uplifting, the ever-plotting diabolical dog or our high maintenance house – he just mixes a mean cocktail of 1 part support, 1 part humor and 1 part love.

so as i literally drift off i am, more than anything, just really grateful for him today. as my friend and my more-than-a-friend.

(cause forget all the marriage crap, what’s obviously most important is that he’s totally dreamy.)

‘night bitches!

what we do to get by.

13 Jul

hannah told me a while back that you gotta do what you can to cope while living in a developing – or in india’s case, a transition – country.

(in hannah’s case this meant flashing the florida gator’s flag to every tanzanian, singing disney to herself and sneaking into the congo. you know, the typical stuff.)

for me, coping sometimes means drinking a bottle (or 46) of chilled chardy and then dancing around my apartment to 60s rock and roll.  sometimes it is allowing myself to feel brave, even if it’s just for a moment.

but mostly it means relying on the  the man i married.

the husband and i got into several good habits as soon as i landed in this crazy country of mud and spice. right off the bat we both bought tiny computers (1/2 because it was practical and 1/2 because he likes things that make him feel like a giant) and brushed off our skype accounts.

we committed to talking at least 2 times a day – at the beginning of my day and end of his, and at the end of my day and the middle of his. confused? sure ya are.

just carry the 2 and divide by 54.3 and you’ll deduce that what i’m trying to tell you is that we’re basically conversational wizards.  even if it’s only for 10 minutes at a time.

he's my #1

another thing we started a few days after i arrived was the ‘nighttime picture’. now i know this sounds like some kind of creepy sexual reference, but it’s not.  because that would be really awkward. for everyone involved.

anyway, l’epouse simply takes a picture of himself as he is wrapping up his day and sends it to my email. i usually receive it when i’m just booting up my computer at the office, so i always feel a little more connected to what he’s up to.

you know, seeing his face is not a bad way to start the day.

and our modest strategies seem to be helping me (and him) get through each day.  sure, we have our fights – lordy we’re both far from perfect – but we always figure it out. because that’s kinda the deal with the rings, i think.

so maybe it’s weird to lump the husband in with chardonnay and shameless self promotion tactics as coping mechanisms – but what can i say – he’s always going to be the #1 way i get by here.

but wine is a close #2.  (sorry sweetie)

the question that never got asked.

24 Jun

my parents have openly admitted that they never thought i’d find someone who could “keep me in line”. i’m not sure if those were their exact words, but the implication was the same: i’m a handful.

i’m bossy and stubborn, i get anxious over stupid things and i procrastinate everything. (point in case, i’m writing this at 11 am on a friday to avoid an increasingly ridiculous work situation, but let’s not get started on that.)

no one’s perfect i get that, but i think it was generally agreed that after a series of moderate to severely unsuccessful relationships that i’d be lucky to find a ham sandwich that could put up with me.

enter the most patient man on earth in a vodka and tonic induced haze. and while i know my husband is not flawless – he generally applies the perfect level of patience with my antics.

and i often remind him of the importance of patience – especially when i do things like move to india and demand we buy a 120 year old house with the one goal of  locating secret passageways. (still no luck, but the search continues.)

so when we decided that we’d like to get married, i did what any girl would do: i posted a picture of the  most beautiful ring i could find on the fridge and asked him everyday for six months if he had saved any money.

but to no avail. nothing. nada. zip.

after months of harassment about getting engaged, in typical al-is-a-handful style,  i was almost 100% sure that my husband was either a) going to smother me in my sleep or b) run away with the dog in the night. god, i was even starting to annoy myself.

but then, one rainy day mid-week last april he was picking me up at my sister’s work and i noticed he was fidgeting a lot.  and i mean guys, he’s a giant man – if a giant  man fidgets you take notice.

he wouldn’t take his damn hand out of his pocket, so i immediately thought that maybe something was going on. however, only about a split second passed before i had convinced myself that there was no way he had saved money for a ring. i’m a frigging detective – i’d have figured it out if he had.

sitting in the car about 5 minutes later getting ready to go he turns to me and whips out the ring. he said:”i love you” and proudly showed it to me. i, ever eloquent and graceful, responded with: “oh my god this is not happening” as i smacked the car dashboard with my hand.

i probably stared at the ring for a good 30 seconds in disbelief, saying nothing.

eventually, i managed to say: “can i put it on?”

and this is more or less how we got engaged – in a car on a rainy day with neither of us actually asking the other anything.

what amazes me to this day is that he somehow managed to stay patient throughout what i can only imagine was an annoying six months. and on top of that, he truly surprised me.  it’s moments like this that prove i’ve met my match.

so why am i telling you this amazingly ridiculous story?

well, in celebration – naturally. ye old ball and chain has finally booked his indian sojourn! in 2 months we will once again be together – for three weeks at least – him being his wonderfully patient self and me being the handful that i am.

yee haw bitches!

first comes love, then comes engagement, then comes a pre-legal wedding freak out

the deal is sealed. (legally we got married in a randoms living room for $200 bucks, did i forget to mention that?)

the science of getting married.

9 Jun

kittens, i’ve specifically chosen to avoid being all preachy and political on this blog. i guess i figured that cracking inappropriate jokes and using the f-word a lot would be more fun. (i was right, by the way.)

but i had a conversation last week that was slightly more on the preachy/political side that i have to share with you.

my office has a cute little balcony where my 4th floor cubicle is and sometimes my colleagues and i (miss j and mrs s) take breaks out there to watch the afternoon storm clouds roll in.

miss j is sweet – she’s my age, is pretty western-ized, speaks perfect english, lives at home and is unmarried.  frankly her life is a bit like mine was at 14: her actions are mostly informed by the will of her parents.

as we watched the clouds become increasingly ominous, my wedding came up – as it often does.  after answering a few questions about my family, i had the nerve to ask miss j if, when the time came, she would have to take an arranged marriage.

she said, smiling coyly: “i don’t know. i guess we’ll have to see. maybe in a year i’ll ask my parents.”

a little shocked, i said: “well, do you want an arranged marriage?”

miss j answered: “i’d prefer to find someone on my own, but where would i find them? my parents still have to approve so why would i waste my time on someone who they might not like?”

mrs s piped up at this point. while also very sweet, she’s shy about her english so we communicate mostly in a series of smiles and wild hand gestures.

she said: “either way, in the end you still have to do what your husband says.”

miss j, nodding seemingly in agreement said: “this is why girls go to work or study in america – so they can have the freedom to date who they want and live how they want.”

while stunned, i nodded in agreement and proceeded to get lost in my thoughts.

listen, generally i try not to have overly defined views because i truly believe that life is fluid and can’t be understood through static opinions. but in regards to this arranged marriage stuff, it does blow my mind that miss j – a 27 year old woman with an mba and a promising career in finance  – is leaving her future happiness in the hands of her parents.

at the same time, i guess i can’t blame her either.

arranged marriage has likely worked for her parents and their parents before that.  and though not everyone forces their kids into this type of union (mr. s for example won’t need to take one), it is a socially acceptable way to roll here.

culture takes a long time to shift. and while things are undeniably changing in india, we can’t fault people for upholding their traditions in the meantime.

(i should point out here before you go all nuts on me, that this post is in no way meant to  condone or address marriage or women’s issues in india that hinge on human rights violations.)

that being said, miss j proves that some people remain perpetually un-excited by the concept. does she want to choose her own mate? hell yes. but if her parents decide that arranged marriage is her path, she will have to oblige.

and until she has that parental tete-a-tete on the science of marriage, the delightful miss j remains in romantic limbo.

this morning she proudly tapped me on the shoulder and said: “allison! have you ever been to brazil? no? well i’m going there on my honeymoon!”

i replied: “hey, at least that’s one thing sorted.”

the night we choose to remember.

2 Jun

the night i met my husband i was wearing what might be the most unflattering and inappropriate outfit ever. if possible, i find the memory of this outfit more embarrassing than bra head al, so i share it reluctantly:

hello poofy gold skirt and backless tube top at a formal event.

sometimes i wish i had decided that this blog was about lying, not honesty. lies are your friend.

if you can believe it i was wearing this dashing ensemble to attend a graduation ball at my university. terrible poofy skirt? a tube top? really? to make it worse, as a well endowed girl gravity was (is) not in my favor – and the tube top was backless. jesus, i need to sit down.

regardless of my impressions now, in my haze of 4 1/2 years ago i thought i was quite possibly the best ever.  awkward tan and all.

anyway, every 20-something knows it’s crass to show up to an event sober, so my friends and i had planned on attending a ‘pre-drinking’ party before the graduation ball. it was at this charming little gathering – dressed like a pirate hooker – that i met my future husband.

but let’s back up for a quick sec. at the risk of sounding like a total jc-esque [juan carlo – the bastard lizard] creeper i need to tell you that while this would be the first time i’d meet him, this wouldn’t be the first time i’d seen him.  my university only had about 8,000 full-time students and because we were both in the commerce program, i had caught sight of  him a few times.

honestly folks, he was totally ‘that guy’ on campus for me. each time i had seen him i had stared awkwardly while telling myself to forget it:  he was obviously a football player, obviously into 5″2 110 lb blondes and obviously a total jackass.

flawless logic – obviously.

so you can see why when i quickly scanned the room upon my arrival at the pre-drinking gathering, i noticed him right away.

he was  hanging out in the back corner of the kitchen with a football buddy, and i could hear them making fun of people and cracking ‘anchorman’-themed jokes from afar. making fun of people? i invented making fun people. so i downed some liquid courage and went over to chat with them.

and much to my surprise it went well! i was being hilarious, he was laughing at said hilariousnsess – and my boob hadn’t fallen out of the inappropriate top yet. all around aces.

but something was still bugging me. stereotyping had never failed before so what was this guy playing at? where was the football a-hole underneath his suspiciously nice exterior?

after more chatting at the graduation ball  i had an unfortunate realization: i was really into him –  and it wasn’t even the several million vodka tonics talking. he had been nothing but charming, kind, interesting, sarcastic, witty, confident, smart – and i dug it. a lot.

despite my inside voice (head, not indoor) telling me to run like mad, i pressed on.

as the ball was winding down he casually invited me out to a bar with a smaller group for further dancing and drinks.  i thought this was a good sign – he must be digging me too.

but  shortly after our arrival at the club my jock-ahole-tiny-woman-loving fears were confirmed: he disappeared!

that bastard – he had obviously found someone hotter, skinnier and drunker than me that he felt would be less work to hook up with that night. theory proven – kablamo – he was a jackass!

a while later as i was quietly fuming in a corner  he had the nerve to find me and ask if i wanted to go get pizza. (inside voice said: his hotter-skinner-drunker plan b fell through and now he wants to take you home with him.) so, naturally, i sweetly said sure and told him to get his coat.

as he wandered through the crowd in the direction of the coat check, i did the only i could think of: i left him there.

and thus, kind readers, concluded the first night i met my husband.

(to answer your lingering queries: yes, i really did leave him at the bar. no, i am not a giant bitch all the time. yes, my behavior only further intrigued him and now we’re married. for real.)

of course,  we have laughed about this ridiculous night on many occasions.  he’s given me hell for abandoning him (saying “i really just did want pizza you know – i was hungry!”) and i’ve reconfirmed my second impression of him a million  times over: he truly is just an exceptionally sweet, genuine, hilarious and well-intentioned dude.

and as much as i hate to admit it (because it makes me sound painfully dull)  i knew from that first night – you know, the night we choose to remember – that he was it for me.

so all of this is to say happy birthday dear husband – without you i’d most definitely still be in someone’s dingy apartment, in a horrible outfit, drinking vodka and quoting ‘anchorman’. so thanks instead for our awesome life together.

forever in blue jeans.

11 May

you know who I love? neil diamond. that’s right, neil flipping diamond.   let that settle in for a minute.

guitar hero!

there is something just so deliciously indulgent about neil.  he’s a little bit country, a little bit rock n’ roll and the man wrote – albeit accidentally – some of the best drinking music ever.

if that doesn’t satisfy you as to neil’s deserved status, let me tell you that mr. diamond had one of the most  expensive divorces in history. it came in at something like US $ 150 million – or in other words – a buttload of cash.

i guess the man just really didn’t want to be married anymore. which sets the stage for my, somewhat ironic, point.

i am eternally devoted to mr. diamond because his song ‘forever in blue jeans’ has greatly inspired my approach to being  in a relationship. he says:

money talks, but it don’t sing and dance and it don’t walk.

as long as i can have you here with me, i’d much rather be, forever in blue jeans.

husband and i have spent many a car-ride singing this wonderful tune to each other.  awkwardly off key with finger-pointing dance moves out in full force, we grin like complete idiots.

but while it’s fun to sing neil’s wise words to each other, it’s proving harder to live by them.

working here in india is a dream, no doubt. but in achieving said dream we have made the decision to become a one-income household, with a needy dog and a 120 year old house to support.  we have a lot on our plate, and there have already been times when we’ve both thrown our hands up in the air and said ‘this sucks!’.

but, when these days come and we’re feeling blue,  we are learning how to pull ourselves out of the funk with the power of positive thinking.  cause neil is right – money’s useful, but we’re lucky to be spending forever (in blue jeans) with each other.

i ticked  an item off my bucket list in 2008 when my charming husband made the tactically stunning move of buying me 2 tickets to a neil diamond concert  for my birthday.

what’s more impressive is that he even attended with me – and sang along to every word.

@ neil diamond in ottawa. just me, husband and his goatee.

i think you’re fun.

19 Apr

i love my husband.  here are the top five reasons why.

1. he is a perfectly giant man and can beat up anyone who gets in mah face. yup.

2. he’s good at everything i’m – as the french say – le shit at.

3. he has a deliciously off-beat sick sense of humor.

4. he loves with his whole heart.

5. he puts up with me.

happy fam.

i love you, sweetie.  

favorite things.

8 Apr

ok, honesty time. so…here it is, i’m just going to lay it out there for the world to see: boys break things.

how do i know this, you ask instinctively? did i grow up with several bushy haired, loud older brothers? did my cousins break my dolls and other toys (mostly variations of dolls) during my childhood? or perhaps my nephew, is he a tyrant?

well no.  no brothers as a child, lovely cousins and my nephew is 2 months old so i guess he’s exempt. (not exempt from cuteness though – oh snnnap!)

charlie, cuddling with his fav uncle

ok, back on topic. so where oh where does this “boys break things” instinctive instinct come from, you wonder?

perhaps, just perhaps, this wild opinion has come from living with my significant other for the last three years.

oh calm down, you know i think he’s pure bliss, but when it comes to things – i.e. stuff, possessions, kitsch – the bliss gets a little less….bliss-y.

simply put – he doesn’t particularly care for things the way i do. or as some may say, he likes the distressed look. a cause for concern when he’s about to spend 12 months alone with my – i mean our – stuff.

so i figure that by proclaiming the things i desperately hope make it through this next year unscathed, maybe my partner in crime might take note. so here goes.

thing 1: teacups
lord knows i love a good cup of tea, that’d be the britishness talking.  each of these beauties have come from family, so hopefully his man-paws don’t break them.

tea for two

thing 2: pyrex
last summer i developed an addiction to vintage pyrex bowels.  cut to consort and i trapsing all over southern ontario antique shops looking for the perfect mixing bowls, and here they are.  stay safe, little ones.

they nest!

beauty blue

thing 3: bookshelf
ok clearly i don’t expect him to break an entire bookshelf, so this is more about…misplacing.  i spent an obnoxious amount of time color coordinating (yes, color coordinating, get over it) my books. and anyone who knows me, knows how seriously i take my books.  i’m saying a tiny tiny prayer for them.

a small snapshot of books x 1,000

thing 4: blue plate wall
as many know, we moved into a 1890s house last spring.  i knew i wanted to do a throwback plate wall of some description, and here is the result.  after months of collecting these puppies, i hope they remain in place for the coming months.

love color

so there you have it – the before shots. let’s see how this all plays out in a year, or if this post is goodbye – and ode, if you will – to my sweet favorite things.