Wednesday, May 07, 2008

belated telling of weekend adventures

Note: Once again I have been distracted (more like buried) here at work so while I started writing this post on Monday, it is now Wednesday and it is a bit stale so just pretend it is Monday again. No, wait. Nobody wants a Monday do-over so just forgive me for being such a slow and delinquent blogger these days. And while you're at it, forgive me if this is long and rambling. . . thanks!

Friday was one of those utterly useless, why-did-I-even-bother-showing-up-days at work. I spent a considerable amount of time shuffling papers around my desk which resulted in absolutely nothing being accomplished. At one point I think I added nearly $2,000 (!!!) worth of clothes to a shopping cart at a favored retailer and didn't buy any of it (um, I never had any intention of spending $2,000 on clothes, that was just the type of odd attention span I had on Friday). Sometime not long after 5 pm I finally gave up the farce of working and left. As part of my online window shopping I had investigated these blouses and decided to stop at the Gap up the street to pick one up. Before I proceed I should mention that the Gap "up the street" is actually THE Gap - the mothership, or flagship or whatever they call the main store. It is huge and takes up three or four floors and is more akin to a department store of everything Gap than your typical mall store. But I knew the white blouse I wanted to investigate would be in the tiny little boutique-style shop adjacent to the mega-Gap. After inspecting the blouse and deciding against actually trying it on (it is close enough I can return it if I don't like it I reasoned), I stepped up to the counter to purchase it. There was a sales clerk there who asked if I wanted to buy the blouse. Here is how the rest of the conversation proceeded:

Me: (slightly baffled) uh, yes.
Employee Person: you will have to wait a minute for the register person to return.
Me: (impatient because it is the end of a long week and I am just irritable) how long is a minute?
Employee Person (because I can't call her a sales person if she can't actually sell me something): Only ten minutes.
Me: (confused and increasingly impatient) what's the problem? why can't you ring me up?
Employee Person: the other girl went on break (and she gestured outside). Don't you want to wait?
Me: ten minutes? seriously? you want me to wait ten minutes? no, I don't want it that bad.

And I left the shirt on the counter and huffed off. I didn't yell or anything but I thought it was a ridiculous request in a 5th Avenue store that just next door had a whole slew of people who could (or should) be able to handle a simple purchase transaction. I probably overreacted because I could have just said "no thank you" and walked away but it caught me by surprise so I reacted. At some point over the next block or two I decided the shirt wasn't worth the price tag anyway.

My next stop was a pedicure . . . and a manicure. I rarely get manicures. I like having my nails look nice but I hate how fragile and inept I feel for the next hour or so afterwards as I avoid touching or doing anything with my hands. Plus, manicures never last. My nails seem to chip, crack or peel within a couple of days making me feel like a lazy 13-year old with half-grown out nails rather than a well-manicured professional. But since I was attending a wedding on Saturday I decided to get the works - red toe nails and finger nails. Initially the red seemed very, well RED! But as I am typing today they feel quite sophisticated . . . despite the glaring chip in my thumb I avoid looking at.

My next stop was not a simple indulgence, it was an absolute necessity. After my slumber party the weekend before, my oh so thoughtful friend Ruby sent me a thank you card (I'm seriously impressed by people who send thank you notes, especially for things that don't strictly call for them) with a gift card to a threading salon she had mentioned. She must have noticed the bed head state of my brows on Saturday morning because they were in some serious need of attention - you are past grooming time when your brows need to be combed into place in the morning! I regularly have both my eyebrows and lip (um, yes, this is a terrible necessity) waxed and I hate it but have learned to deal with the pain (the lip is by far the worst thing to have waxed - worse than the bikini line in my opinion). I was a bit nervous about trying something new but I've been curious about trying it for quite some time so I decided to give it a shot.

The place she sent me was bright and clean and set up similar to a hair salon but without the mirrors. Instead of a couch at reception there was a bed with brightly colored silk fabrics and throw pillows. When the receptionist noticed me carefully (and awkwardly) handling the clipboard she handed me, she asked if I had just had my nails done and helped accommodate me and my stupid ineptitude (seriously, I hate the fragility of freshly painted nails and the constant fear of ruining them). Before I could take a sip of the water I was offered I was introduced to my clinician (my word, not sure what their word is - threader? threadist?) who didn't respond much to my babbling about having never done this as she had me lie back in what initially looked like a beauty salon chair but once in it was more akin to a dentist's chair after it was lounged back into a fully reclined position with bright overhead spot lights focused directly on my face. I tried to stare past the bright light and out the large window into the gray sky hanging over the City as she asked me questions I couldn't answer because again . . . first time! I needed some guidance. Soon, my eyes were closed and I felt as if I was the sitar in the music happily playing in the background as I felt row after row of eyebrow hair plucked up from their root with this magical thread that twinged a bit but did not burn or rip in the same way waxing does. I was fascinated by the sensation and tried to sort out the best way to describe it and felt at a loss. I imagined the woman's fingers looped through the long strands of thread as she weaved it into my overgrown brows close to my face and then arms spread wide as the plucking sensation rippled across my eyebrow. My eyes remained tightly shut as I tried to maintain a serene countenance so as not to scrunch up my brows and make the process more difficult. She enlisted my help and had me pull my forehead up and hold my eyelid down and I worried about the tiny flying hairs landing in what I hoped was no longer wet nail polish.

After the eyes came the lip. This part made me nervous and I continued to squeeze my eyes shut and tried to focus on some happy point in my head to avoid the coming pain. I really wished I had kept my ipod with me to aid in my escapist route from the unknown pain. I was instructed to move my tongue up under the portion of my lip she was working with and while I can't say there was no pain, it was surprisingly easier than waxing. . . until she came to those horrible little hairs just below the nostrils that are inexplicably connected to my tear ducts that sting if I even consider plucking them. When the thread yanked at those, tears sprung to my eyes and I squeezed them more tightly shut to damn the tears threatening to rolling down my face.

It was over quickly enough and although I had some redness it wasn't any worse than waxing and actually felt gentler on my skin. I think I have found my new wax alternative - although I'm still convinced lasering is the ultimate answer for the blasted upper lip peskiness.

Once home I had to spring into action and start checking off the long list of "to dos" I had running through my head all day which included: laundry, pack, storage unit shift, dinner, Jazz game and on. It was already after 8 so dinner came first - luckily that was taken care of by Thursday's Thai leftovers but it also meant I rested a bit too long before I started my laundry.

The Jazz game started at 10:30 and I was constantly jumping up from my couch during time outs and quarter breaks and half time to switch out my laundry, make my bed, haul my winter clothes bins to my storage unit, remove my winter coats from the closet and squish them into garment bags and haul those to the storage unit as well. I also decided to transfer various toiltries into the newly purchased Muji acrylic pots and bottles I purchased earlier in the week during the member's discount day at the MoMA store. This was a good idea because I can fit more liquid necessities into an airport-security-approved plastic bag but it really seemed tedious and unnecessary as I was doing it Friday night.

The Jazz won (hooray! out of the first round!) but I didn't get to bed until nearly 1:30 a.m. which was a very bad thing considering I had to set my alarm for 5:30 a.m. so I could be outside with my luggage to meet my car to the airport at 6:10 a.m. I crawled out of bed, brushed my teeth, opted for no makeup, glasses and a hat and pulled on my most comfortable cargo pants, t-shirt and fleece and journeyed out. By 8:40 or so I was climbing into my brother's car at the curb of the Boston airport. We stopped for bagels and hot chocolate and I repeated how much I needed a nap as we discussed the Jazz's victory the night before and how little each of us had slept.

I meant to sleep before going to the wedding that night, I really did. But somehow as I caught up with my brother and his wife and then reintroduced myself to my beautiful niece (no fear, photos to follow), I livened up. Nadia and I dropped J off at school so he could cram for his next final (ironically the class is my practice area which he absolutely hates!) and we went to the store. I can't tell you how happy I was to push Regina around the store and watch her giggle at all of the lights and people and sounds. She really was enamored by everything she saw and often let out a loud yelp of excitement.

After the bright lights of the grocery store, Regina and I both needed naps so I set an alarm and crawled onto their bed and tried to shut out the whirlwind of thoughts racing through my head which mostly centered around not wanting to miss the email or phone call of the friend who was picking me up and driving to the wedding. When the phone rang after about an hour of down time I jumped up and answered before I was fully awake.

Sidenote: Why is it we never want to admit someone has caught us sleeping? Is it a sign of weakness to let people know that we sleep? And sometimes that sleeping is done in unconventional later morning hours, afternoon or early evening? Monday morning my trainer called me at 6:44 am. We had an appointment at 7:30 but due to subway problems in Brooklyn she called to say she couldn't make it. I have no idea how I responded although I do remember after a two minute or so "conversation" she told me to go back to sleep. I probably tried to pretend I wasn't sleeping then, too but the whole thing is so foggy I have no idea.

Not wanting to be thought slothful and genuinely wanting to talk to my caller, I stumbled awkwardly through our first minutes of conversation not fully comprehending what she had to say. Before too long I was fully cognizant and jabbering back and I knew there was no going back to nap time.

I don't know if this happens to any of you but the more time I have to get ready, the slower I am and (sometimes) the more likely I am to end up running late. It rarely takes me more than 45 minutes to an hour to get ready for anything. So when my friend agreed to pick me up between 4:30 and 4:45 and I got in the shower at 3 pm, I felt I had all the time in the world. Which resulted in frequent breaks to eat a bowl of cereal, hold my niece, talk to my sister-in-law, sew up the far too plunging v-neck of my dress (my best sewing skill) and then eat a banana with my niece. At 4:30 I was standing in the bathroom not quite finished with my makeup - I hadn't decided what jewelry to wear, applied lotion, transferred my evening's necessities to my small clutch, decided if I needed to wear my spanx (I did) or put away any of my bathroom toiletries which were strewn all over the small bathroom. I was delusionally thinking I still had 20 to 30 minutes to go when the phone rang. My friend was right out front. Of course all of the above final touches became a whirlwind and in my rush I not only emptied the entire contents of my suitcase onto the dining room floor, I knocked my green eye shadow pot off off its perilous perch into the sink and sent green eye shadow dust flying everywhere. It was a mess. I suddenly felt like a mess as I rushed out the door but the nice old woman wearing pajamas and a coat in the elevator told me I looked "lovely" so I felt a little better.
About 20 minutes into the 45-minute drive to Plymouth (or somewhere near Plymouth), I realized I was starving. The grand total of food consumed for the day was one plain cinnamon sugar bagel, one hot chocolate, one bowl of cereal, one banana. C'est tout. I told my friend that I would do my best to prevent my stomach from growling during the ceremony but she needed to consider herself warned.
The wedding was at a beautiful country club that did not believe in heat. Outside the temperature was probably in the low 40s and inside it may have been as high as 50 degrees. It was freezing. Not a huge fan of the black trench coat I was wearing that was missing the top two buttons, I dropped it at the coat check and huddled in my too-thin blue pashmina. My friend opted to keep her coat and while she did unbutton it briefly at one point during dinner, she never took it off.
The ceremony was performed in front of a beautiful fireplace with what appeared to be a toasty warm fire that kept the wedding party warm but left the guests wondering how awkward it would be if they all skootched their chairs five or six feet forward so we could be closer to the fire. The ceremony was simple and the bride looked beautiful - more beautiful than I had ever seen her. Of course, I generally only see her at the office under flourescent lighting but still, she looked amazing, as a bride should. She also appeared completely and totally happy, as did the groom.
Unfortunately, my lack of sleep and lack of food caught up with me by the end of the ceremony and I started to feel the first twinges of a headache. Luckily there was a cocktail hour which allowed me to get some Diet Coke, cheese and crackers and a couple of hoer douvers to fight it off . . . although only temporarily. I started to worry that I might get a migraine. Luckily, I no longer get them often but a recipe for disaster is lack of sleep and lack of food. I grabbed another diet coke before heading into the ballroom for dinner and hoped for the best. The pain hit my eyes as I chatted with my table of dinner companions and I went to the bathroom to see if that basket of sundries in the bathroom happened to have excedrin. It didn't - but it did have Tylenol, not my normal pain killer of choice but I was desperate and took them. I ate my clam chowder and joined others on the dance floor after the initial toasts to the bride and groom, willing the migraine away. By the time my salad arrived I worried that it was too late. White squiggly lines were dancing in my vision and not even the roll looked appetizing. Another Diet Coke and I pushed through animated conversations and more dancing until I could no longer take it. While the head ache was somehow receding in strength, it was being replaced by waves of nausea that reached their peak when my entree of fish was placed in front of me. At that point nothing sounded worse (or smelled worse) than eating fish. I didn't touch it. I couldn't bring myself to even move the mashed potatoes around with my fork. I avoided looking at it and tried to just keep chatting. I was grateful my head was no longer closing in on me but decided to go back to that goody basket in the bathroom and retrieve the pepto tablets I saw and hope for the best. Somehow I continued dancing with friends and briefly with the bride who said she was having a wonderful time and just thought it was passing by too quickly. When I returned to my seat, a piece of chocolate wedding cake was waiting for me. The pepto had done its job and I was able to eat most of it but was not tempted in the least by the chocolate fountain and all the goodies people returned with from there.
While I'm not normally one to leave a wedding early, my companion was tired (sadly, although she beat breast cancer a couple of years ago, the cancer is back and I was thrilled that she was able to go to the wedding at all) so we made an early exit and I was back at my brother's apartment in Boston before midnight, although we stayed up talking until 1.
Sunday I slept and slept and slept. In fact, I didn't get out of bed until nearly noon. We enjoyed a much needed leisurely day of playing with Regina, talking and watching the Jazz game. Of course, neither of us was entirely pleased with the outcome of the game, although we were happy it did not end up being a 20 something blow-out. I instructed Nadia on how to make my favorite Mexican salad of kidney beans, black beans, red beans, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, romaine lettuce, olives, lime juice, monterey jack and cheddar cheese (although pepper jack is even better) served on tortilla chips and she added a great twist of Cafe Rio creamy tomatillo dressing. There was a summer a few years back when I lived with my sister and my other brother and we lived on this salad, making it once a week or so.
Overall it was another wonderful, if slightly whirlwind, weekend.


Tiffany said...

I KNEW I woke you up! Sorry! I hope you get a nap sometime this week to make up for it!

katie said...

Tylenol sucks....long live Ibuprofun!

critts said...

I feel the same way about manicures. I never get them either because they chip within 2.5 seconds of leaving the salon.

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