Thursday, February 26, 2009

To the Porn Shop

Did I ever tell you about the time I went to the local porn shop?

I had just met Capt for the first time after being matched up with him on Eharmony months earlier.

We had gone on a wonderful first date. He took me to a seaport to see how ships were made. Some might think, "What a strange place for a first date.", but it was perfect, just perfect. He had planned the whole day right down to umbrellas in case it rained and in case I didn't feel comfortable sharing one with him. He even had an assortment of waters in his car in case I got parched and was fussy about water. (Yes, he was correct.) He even pre-paid for everything before I even got there, which took the awkwardness away.

We even sat on the bench in front of the lighthouse and looked out over the water and talked and talked. I thought he was going to kiss me then, but he waited until we said goodbye.

It was the most wonderful date ever. And as I walked onto the ferry to go home I knew there were many things about Capt that I loved and I hoped we could continue our long distance relationship now that we had met in person.

Capt is all about electronics, computers and all things geek-related. He knows how to find anything on the internet and does it in no time at all.

A few days after our first date I called him from my office phone. He took that number off of his caller ID and reverse looked-up it to get my work address.

The next day I was getting buzzed by my receptionist, Larisa. When I picked up the intercom she was hysterically laughing and trying to tell me between breaths that the local porn shop was on the phone and they had a package for me.

This porn shop was not an ordinary porn shop, it was known to be the most 'porniest' of the porn shops around. I knew this only because the local churches were always praying for it and its owners.

Needless to day, Capt's reverse lookup investigaton did not uncover my correct work address and a lovely package of chocolate covered strawberries got delivered to the porn shop instead of the law office.

I pleaded with Larisa to pick them up for me, but being the good, sweet, innocent person that she is she declined stating that she was just too embarrased. I even offered her cold, hard cash, to no avail.

I had no choice but to go in there myself and pick up the strawberries. They had to be refrigerated so I had to get them right away.

It took me awhile to get out of my car once I got into the porn parking lot. I know that this is really stupid but the thing that I kept thinking was, "What if I ran into someone that I know from church in there?". And not because of what they might think of me, because I would know that they were there and then we would have a weird secret connection or something like that. That would be too creepy.

After about 30 minutes I took a deep breath, went inside, lowered my head and tried to keep my eyes straight ahead as I approached the check out counter. "You must be Theresa.", said the young woman. "Am I that obvious?", I asked.

It was the biggest laugh in my office for years, mostly because I am such a goody-two shoes. And it was a turning point in Capt and my lives because we just knew then that our relationship together was going to be filled with these types of funny memories.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Lesson Learned

My Pookie.

I don't know how she got to be so wise at age 13.

I don't know how she realizes how wrong domestic violence is.

I don't know if she knows how absolutely blessed she is to have a father who treats her so tenderly and lovingly.

She threw out the calendar of her dream man, the man she had a teenage crush on for over a year, the calendar that she swooned over every night and every morning. The man she insisted she would marry, if, of course, he wasn't attached when she was old enough.

She threw it in the garbage when she found out that he allegedly beat up his girlfriend.

Her crush is over.

I only wish I had been as wise as she at 13; it took me far longer than that.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Scrabble Queen

Last night when my 13 year old step-daughter and I went "grocery" shopping, she told me that she thinks I'm so cool and that she wants to be like me when she grows up.

She also thinks that I'm the biggest nerd ev' she puts it.

Last night while we were driving through a snowstorm to, you know, get some of that delicious Dairy Queen otherwise known as "grocery" shopping, I got a call on my cellphone.

Someone had a Scrabble question and needed the answer right away.

My Scrabble days started 20 years ago when I was dating Todd. He was a Scrabble player extraordinaire and tried to teach me how to play, but I just couldn't get it. He was often frustrated and bored when we played. He threw down tiles that gained him high points and I spelled words like boy and duck, if I was lucky.

Then one day I got an idea.

I went to the local book store and found a book on how to win at Scrabble. I read it that day and learned many valuable strategies to playing a winning game. I also memorized all the two letter words in the English language, a big plus for a Scrabble player.

That night when he offered to play another tedious game of Scrabble with me. I obliged and played like the winner I had read about. (Todd didn't know about the book.)

Imagine his shock when I rack balanced, bonus worded and I used two letter words like 'aa' and 'ae' to attach to other words to maximize my points. I think I scored in the 400's that night.

And I think he turned pale and almost passed out.

One of the things I learned in the book was to use words like 'faqir' that your opponent might not know so he or she would challenge them. Then after a few losing challenges where they skip a turn they stop challenging you and then you can use words that aren't really words and no one is the wiser.

Some call it cheating, I call it strategy. Hey, I learned it from pros who wrote the book.

Needless to say, no one likes to play with me. Except last weekend my sister's boyfriend played with me and got really frustrated at my 'strategy' and quit playing.

But it was my son, David, who finally put it all into perspective for me when he asked, "Mom, would you play flag football with someone who tackles you all the time?"


But still, Pookie thinks it's really cool that I get phone calls about Scrabble. I even think she was more tickled about that than having her poor, exhausted, step-mother drive 38 miles through a snowstorm to get her an ice cream cone.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Golden Slippers

Money had been very tight around here this past year starting with me losing the job I relocated here for, and continuing with working two part-time jobs, which total in weekly earnings what I used to earn in a few hours. Not true, but it feels close to being true.

Gone are the days when I would throw down hundreds of dollars a month on face products to keep me youthful looking.

Gone are the days of facials and massages.

Gone are the days when I would walk into a high-end clothing store and sidle up to a saleswoman and ask her to please pick out about $1,000 worth of clothes for me while I wait in the dressing room because I hate shopping and have no clue what looks good on me and I know you have skills since you work here.

Yes, I used to do that twice a year.

That's how I used to roll.

And I don't even miss it because I'm happy and I love my new life.

Needless to say, my husband has had to take over the majority of my expenses. He has sacrificed so much to marry me. I am no longer the financially independent woman I was when he met me. He's really been a trooper. He's had to sacrifice more than I can say.

I know that he appreciates the skills I have that cut our spending, make ends meet and keep the bills at a minimum.

So Sunday when I told him that I purchased a new pair of slippers that cost $100 he looked like he was going to lose it for a second. And he never loses it.

You see, for a wedding present a girlfriend of mine from Long Island, who couldn't make the wedding, sent us a gift card to Saks Fifth Avenue in the amount of $100.00. Around these here parts of the wilderness, there is no Saks. She has no clue as to my new life here. We once had tea together at The Plaza in New York City....$90.00 for two cups of tea....and I don't even drink tea.

Anyway, for the past 7 months I've been looking on Saks online and trying to spend the gift card, but there are only a few items for under $100 and they just don't seem worth it, i.e., a bottle of Juicy Couture perfume. No thanks.

And lest you think I'm all about me, there isn't even anything for men that looks interesting for under $100.

In the past I would have added my own money to the gift card and presto a new blouse. But I carefully watch our budget and there is no room for unnecessary purchases.

Capt trusts me with our money and that means a lot to me.

So, on Sunday I received an advertisement via email from Saks showing slippers for $80. "Maybe, just maybe, I could get away with this.", I thought. And I looked. And I purchased. And if I had them sent via overnight the total cost would be $99.98. YES, SCORE !!!!

I needed a pair of slippers and I had mentioned to Capt that I was thinking about going to Target and getting myself a pair, if they were on sale.

A few seconds after I told Capt that I purchased slippers for $100, I told him that I finally used the gift card that I was wracking my brain over and he looked instantly relieved.

Now I am the proud owner of the most awesome slippers ever invented. I feel like I am walking on a cloud:

They're Uggs. Yeah.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Why I'm So Happy:

A few days ago my friend Merrily over at Life is But a Dream tagged me for a photo meme.

The problem is that most of the photos on my computer, like 99.9% of them, are of Pookie and/or her girlfriends doing the 'kiss' pose at the camera. Anyone who has a teenager knows that pose. I think standing in front of a camera making pouty lips with your girlfriends....or a prerequisite for turning 13.

Unfortunately, my husband doesn't like me to post pictures of his children, although I've gotten away with it a few times for special occasions.

So I've picked my favorite photo of our recent wedding:

Capt and I had been dancing our first dance together for about 4 minutes, Pookie and her best friend were up on the landing of the stairway singing 'our song'. He had just mumbled something funny under his breath to me and leaned back to give the photographer a 'let's ham it up now' smile.

And I'm thinking, "Can I be any happier?"

These past seven months have proved that I can be.

Everyday something new happens. Everyday I'm happy that he married me. Every night we kiss goodnight and say, "I love you, thank you for marrying me."

Even the days when he does something stupid, like this past week when he tried to help me with my delicate laundry, I still am happy.

He gets the delicate load in the washer and at the last minute before turning on the wash sees the dog's dirty, fur-filled blanket on the floor and decides that it could use a washing too. Yes, he threw it in with my delicate load. When I come home he has already washed and dried (-IN THE DRYER-) the load three times because all the fur wouldn't come off.

Yet, I'm still happy.

And a few days ago when he broke the tip off of my favorite high-end parring knife and put it back in the drawer because he used it to pry off the top of his son's travel mug even though I had previously told him the mug simply unscrews and doesn't pop off.

Yet, I'm still happy.

Or how the blanket on our bed seems to make its way over to his side every night and when I ask him to please stop hogging it he tells me to stop letting it move over to his side.

And yet, I'm still happy.

Or when since our wedding day when I am looking for Tupperware to put leftovers in and he just stands there with a blank look on his face appearing to wonder with me where it all disappears to because I keep buying containers and lids and they mysteriously disappear. Then one day last week he comes home with a gigantic garbage bag filled with my Tupperware and dumps it on the kitchen floor. He had been taking it to work and leaving it there for seven months. It took 3 loads in the dishwasher to fit them in to clean them and I can't even fit them all in my cabinets anymore.

And yet, I am still happy.

I could go on and on with the reasons why I love him.... how he makes my body tingle when I see him walking towards when I look into his big brown eyes I when he touches me he can bring me back from a stressful day....but I won't, happily I've got a lifetime for that.

If you'd like to be tagged for this meme, tag, you're it.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Kage, how I miss him.

My daughter emailed me this link of her dog, Kage.

Kage is a very weird dog.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Kids These Days

I guess I still have stuff to write about regarding the open house at the Court. After this, I should be done.

When I married Capt I got the benefit of becoming part of his extended family and thereby having an aunt (pronounced 'awnt' in these here parts instead of the right way, 'ant') and uncle among other wonderful family members.

My new Aunt J was kind enough to get me out of a bind and lend me the family coffee urn for the open house last week.

Since I still don't know how to make coffee that people can actually drink yet, I ordered already- made coffee from the local bakery and poured it into the urn. And presto no one had to know it wasn't made by me.

By the looks of it, the urn must have been around for a few decades, although it looks newly purchased. It has that 50's look, but it's odd because it looks brand new and out of place in these times.

After using it I brought it home to give it a good cleaning and set it on the kitchen counter/island right next to where my step-son sits when he eats his breakfast, when he plays computer games on his laptop or when he just feels like being a skutch to me while I'm cooking (Skutch means jokester in NY, I've had to explain that a few times).

My step-son has ADHD and it is very unusual for him to notice common, everyday things like a coffee urn on the counter. But this particular afternoon he did.

He had eaten breakfast Saturday morning and not noticed.

Later he had eaten lunch and not noticed.

But when his best friend came over to play an on-line combat video game together with their laptops....wait a second.....I have to stop here and just register my amazement at technology today, kids today bring their laptops to each others' houses and play games over the internet with other kids all over the world. When I was a kid I played jacks. And I loved it.

Anyways, in mid-slaughtering of an enemy soldier he screamed, "THERESA, WAS IS THAT OVER THERE????" I almost spit my water all over the kitchen when I instantly realized that he was afraid of the coffee urn.


People, here he is shooting and eliminating soldiers, there is blood splatters on his screen and there sits a gentle coffee urn quietly next to him, minding its own business, and THAT he is afraid of.

After his dad and I explained what the coffee urn was he laughed and said, "That thing looks like it could kill someone." And his friend agreed.

Oh kids these days.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Coffe Crunch Bars

The Court that I work for moved from the Town Hall into a new building last month. We still have some kinks to work out but all in all it was a good move. The only complaint I have is that it is very lonely working there without other people. Lonely and scary, but I think the scary part is from living in NY all my life. In NY you may not be too safe sitting alone in an office building in the woods.

This past Thursday we had an open house luncheon and invited about 50 lawyers, judges, Town Hall friends, etc. I ordered food from the local grocery store deli and made cookies for dessert. I had gotten a new Bon Appetite magazine and in it was a recipe that sounded right up my alley....Coffee Crunch Bars. Of course I had to make them for the party.

Bon Appetite has a whole article by Molly Wizenberg about these cookies.

She writes, "The coffee and toffee flavors of this crunchy dessert are heightened by the dark brown sugar and espresso powder."

Finding the espresso powder was the problem, a big problem when you live in a small town. After visiting several stores I went to Whole Foods, they didn't even have it, but they came up with a solution - they grounded up espresso beans into a powder and I used that.

The cookies came out wonderful, or so I thought. My husband doesn't like anything coffee related.

After the party there were a few cookies left so I sent them to work with my husband, his co-workers just love it when he brings stuff in.

Later that night I asked him how they liked the coffee crunch bars. He said, "No one ate them". "Why?", I asked. And in true Capt form he said, "I told them that you put coffee grinds in them".

I'm sure the image of old, cold, used coffee grinds would take anyone's appetite away.