Sunday, April 29, 2007

And On That Theme...

We sold the house!!!!!!!!

The house initially went on the markt 2 1/2 yeas ago, didn't sell for that time, and we took it off in October. This time around, the For Sale sign went in the ground late Friday night, and we had our first offer by 5 PM Saturday evening. While the final price is not as we had all hoped, it feels like we are all releived to have this outcome.

This was the last unresolved issue following my dad's death.

And now we move on...

Friday, April 27, 2007

It's Moving Day!

Despite my growing comfort tucked away in my rented bedroom at the Brummel Street Hostel for Wayward Shrinks (or my sister's condo, for short), it has come time that I move on out.

Tomorrow, I return to living solo, for the first time in four years. The last time was right before my dad died, and I was living in Bridgeport, three blocks from White Sox park. Man, I loved that apartment. It was small - the back, second apartment of my landlord's two flat. Actually, it used to be a butcher shop (yuck) years before that, and my landlord bought it, gutted it (no pun intended) and then lived in the first floor while renting the top.

And it was so cute too. It has two small bedrooms, one which was mine and the other I used as an office (and I mean SMALL - I could only fit my twin size bed in there - I used to call it my "Megan-only" bed. hee. hee.) I had a porch that wrapped around the top floor, and I would pull out my little chair, prop my feet up on the railing, usually towards the west to get the last rays of the setting sun, drink a beer (or three), have a few smokes, and just read a book. Ahh, the good old days.

But the best part? It was MINE.

After years of living with roommates, this was all for me. I could lay on the couch all day and not have to explain myself, shower at midnight, dance around in a tee-shirt and undies while alternately bouncing to Faith Hill or 50 Cent (yes, slightly embarrassed about the Fi-ty phase, but it was five years ago and he was actually popular at the time - you know, "Go shorty, it's yo birthday?" Holla!) I would leave my clothes on the floor and dishes in the sink, have an empty fridge but a cabinet full of candy - yep, I was living in Megan-made heaven.

It was in this apartment that Larry and I first began "dating." See, the day my dad got diagnosed, I left my job and moved home. That day. I was working with Larry at the time, and we couldn't date because of that, and instead we spent the whole year before that kinda making moon-eyes at each other, doing all the flirty tease things you do when you are goofishly trying to be noticed by someone. And during the year, we had confided in each other that maybe, after my time there ended, we could date. But despite all that, I never quite knew how Larry really felt about me, or if it would ever actually happen. And that night, when I went back to pack my bags and get the place organized, he came over, sat on my couch, and told me that he shared my feelings.

It was a emotionally odd day - feeling both devastated and scared about my dad, but excited and hopeful for this relationship, which I know sounds weird given my dad's situation and all, but you have to know how truly infatuated I was with Larry - the first time I saw him, before I knew I would be working with him, a year prior, I said to myself, "I am going to marry that man." And that night, I truly believed that it would happen. Before he left, we kissed underneath the street light in front of the building - it was late, the streets were silent. In hindsight, it was almost out of a movie.

And that was night I let go of my independence. In so many ways.

So tomorrow, I move back into my own place - a tiny, tiny studio a couple blocks from my sister and Larry (who, as most know, is no longer the boyfriend, but has become one of my best friends). So tiny in fact, that I seriously doubt that anyone would actually want to come and visit, and if they did, I would probably have to leave just so they could fit - but it doesn't matter - I love it. There's room for my bed and my bikes and my clothes. What else do you need?

Oh, and I did upgrade the bed - although for right now, it's still Megan-only.

So with the new job, the new license, the new apartment, new private practice starting this week, and being somewhat newly single, I feel very much like I am starting over.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Pass the Cheese

So I would first like to thank everyone for loading my plate with cheese and crackers to go with my whine the other day.

But seriously, bad jokes aside, it never ceases to amaze me how unselfish some people are when it comes to support. Because no matter how much you all are going through, with training, kids, marriages, weight, or just life, you are never too tired or too distracted to reach out and say, "Meg, hey, hang in there," or offer great advice on climbing out of the hole I dig for myself. And elastic band waisted pants? Brilliant, Stronger, brilliant.

My mom called, she said I could borrow them.

(and no, Mom, that does not mean I am calling you fat, just that you wear fat lady pants - it's totally different....)

So thanks, to everyone who commented or emailed or called. As my sister Ellen, with her new mommyhood wisdom, imparted to me the other day, "Count your blessings, not your troubles." Right on.

And with every setback, I believe I learn a little more, become slightly more humbled and hopefully more insightful. And I think I did these last few days. I can certainly say that I will never again, NEVER, take for granted a "simple" one-hour ride or 30 minute run. Cause, god, what I wouldn't give for those right now.

And my insight is this: With every word of support I received, I was made increasingly aware of how selfish I can be sometimes in return. See, when I get in the funk, I can shut down. That's why I can go from a daily post to maybe one every few days. And moreover, I stop reading other people, so I lose track of everyone elses struggles and triumphs, all because I am choosing to take a vacation to Crazy Town, ticket and room for One.

This also happens when I have so many things going on my life with my job, my family, my (not right now) training - I get so self-centered that I can't/choose not to muster up the strength to be there for other people. I simply can't look beyond my own nose to listen to other people. I get myself to places where I feel that the weight of the world is on my shoulders, preventing them from being available for others to cry on. I sadly and shamefully do that to a lot of people in my life, and you know who you are. You may just not have realize that I am aware of it.

Admitting this doesn't make it better, and I am by no means trying to assuage any of my guilt. But I can put it out there, look at it, and try not to do it next time.

I guess what I getting it at is that feeling the support of others makes me a little better, not just physically and psychologically, but "humanly." I used to think that it would be the Ironman that would somehow elevate me to this "better person" place in a weird way, but in fact, it has been the people I have had in my life along the way that have helped with that. All of them, physical or virtual (I just wrote "viral" for virtual - what kind of weird Freudian slip was that?!?!)

Yeah, that's enough cheesiness for tonight. Maybe I should go put the cheese back in the fridge where it belongs. Right next to the cold bag of MnM's.

Hey, I said "humanly," not perfect.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

On My Bad Side

Warning: The following post is not pretty. This is not (despite brief attempts at humor) a happy post - feel free to simply switch to another site, and tune in tomorrow, as I am sure by that time some bluebirds and rainbows and puppydogs would have crossed my path and the post will be back to it's normal peppy self. If you chose to stay, you might need to shower off the ugliness in the end. Consider yourself warned.

Today was about as bad as it gets for my back injury. It truly makes no sense. I string together a couple of good days this weekend and then BAM! it hits so bad it gives me blinding migraines and numb feet.

I haven't had a whoa-is-me post in a while and I am owed, I feel. Here goes.

So in addition to the type of pain that sends you home from work early, I discovered today that I managed to grow myself out of another pair of jeans and another bra. Well, at least the underwear have company. And doesn't misery love that?

I am pretty much writing off all racing this summer (and no, that's not me being dramatic - there is simply no time to train if I can't even manage a week in-full without this pain).

And finally, I am trying to find just about anybody to take the blame I am willing to throw. Most of the time its my back Doctor - for not knowing to even take a look at the back throughout training and instead focusing on the knees, despite being a back Doctor. Tonight it was my coach, who had the misfortune of emailing me the day before today with some lame-brained idea of doing the elliptical this week for (oooohhhh, wait for it...get excited.... and jealous....) 15 minutes!!!!!!


Yes, this is what I am reduced to. Oh, but I get to water run for 15 as well, so I guess that makes it all worth it.

Again - WTF?!?!?

Earlier it was my brother, who managed to be the only one not present at my dad's house this weekend to help clean, thus leaving me to haul all the stuff (mostly his) into storage, and then mop the floor of the basement (where he lived) all my my broken-back self. He better stay out of my dark alleys.....

But really, it all comes down to being mad at myself for pushing the IM thing too soon. But I hate that feeling, so I would rather target unsuspecting people that will never know my seething, boiling internal wrath, mostly because I am too big of a baby to actually verbalize this stuff out loud.

Oh, and I am still salty that, despite the fact I live WELL below the poverty line, I still, in fact, owed the f-ing federal government almost two thousand dollars. So last week, the target was my accountant, as I am sure that, in addition to the forced check-writing, the stress triggered some muscles in my back to re-engage the spasms. Or something. Whatever.

And that's all I have. I am sure by tomorrow my little cry-fest will be a thing of the past, but I needed to vent it today.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Death, Taxes and Change

I used to think I was unique in the way I handled change, in that I simply didn't. I fought change harder than anything, and my resistance was as strong as a the water against my arms during a bad swim. I hate it.

Hel-loooo? Project Procrastination? Not so much about embracing newness as it is trying to avoid it.

In fact, I hate change or transition so much that once, when I finished my training practicum at a site where I worked with adolescent substance abusers, I continued to volunteer there twice a week, despite my new practicum job, my two actual paid part-time jobs, full time classes and a dissertation. I just couldn't let it go.

But lately I have learned that resistance to change is not unique, but rather quite widespread. And for good reason: Who likes to uproot themselves from something predictable, routine, expected and secure? I mean, even if the situation from which you are changing is so beyond dysfunctional, to change it can be really traumatic (think: crisis junkies suddenly faced with the challenge of no crisis - one might think they would welcome it, but it is familiar to them, so why would they want to change? )

Today, I had a lot of time to think about a lot of things, and change was one of the the topics that consumed my little mind. See, today I spent most of the morning and early afternoon prepping my dad's house to go on the market. Yep, that means cleaning, gardening, throwing out garbage, etc. My mom moved back in after my died and has been living there for the last two years, but regardless of her presence, there is soooo much work to do.

At one point, my mom came outside and stated (I think tearfully, but I couldn't totally see through the Clorox I accidentally blinded myself with while washing down lawn furniture), "I am getting sentimental about all this..." while she bent over to scoop up dog poop left over my brother and his dogs during a recent year-long layover.

At the moment this was said, I was really frustrated and resentful and thought, "Well of course." I mean, we were basically readying a house she and my dad built and all five kids were raised in, to hand over (hopefully) to a new family to create their own lifetime of memories. It was the only house my family has ever lived and to think of it not being there anymore is sort of weird.

Personally, though, I have had time to adjust to the thought. I mean, prior to my dad's illness, I lived on my own for several years. After he died, I moved out again and have lived (somewhat) on my own for the last three years. So I have had some years to sort of distance myself from it. And also, since having to deal with all the estate settlement stuff and the real estate dealings, I am just kind of sick of it. I can truly say I am ready to move on from it, to buy my own place when it sells, and just move on in life.

My mom, of the other hand, seems to be more emotional about it, which I suspect has something to do with her phase of life and the general idea of moving on, now with all the kids grown and on their own, and her deciding where she should go next. I mean, I can't really imagine what it must be like to spend your life raising kids, and then once that's over, what do you do?

But this is my point. No matter how old one gets, or what phase in life we are in, there is always the inevitable change that awaits us. In fact, as we get older, we have more constant changes, because with each new year you might have a new grandchild or a new death, a new marriage and in-laws, or a new retirement. There is always change.

Now, there is no rule that says we have to like it or do it gracefully, but we most certainly can't escape of avoid it. I think my mom might have been trying to do that, avoid it, for the last few years, and I can't blame her. But again, change is just as certain as death or taxes. My feeling is that the more you try to plan for it (when you know its coming) the better off you are. When you can anticipate it and prepare, as one might do with the sale of a house, it helps make it easier, and maybe not so scary. And then once it happens, you take control as much as you can, reach out to those familiar for support, and bear down.

This next sentence almost started to read: "If I had my way, I would never change." But as I started writing that, I deleted it because that's not true. As difficult as it is sometimes, like saying good-bye to clients, breaking-up with a partner of several years, adjusting to a new baby in family, preparing to share your life with another human being, or moving into a new apartment at the end of the week and living by yourself for the first time in years with all new creepy noises and no one to check to see if there are intruders or kill the spiders you might see or fix the toilet when it leaks or clean the fridge out when scary stuff grows in the drawers or- oh wait - where was I? Hold on...

So as I was saying, though change might be difficult, think of what life would be like if we didn't ever have to change. Weird, right? How limited and confined and horrible and small-minded we would all be. Yuck.

So that's all I got. Nothing too profound, but more just a vent, a hashing out of the thoughts that fill my little brain. Tomorrow I go back for some more cleaning, and I am sure I will have some more insight into life, so be prepared - you might get some Good-Will-Hunting-problem-solving type shit - the solutions to life according to Megan written on the chalkboard of life known as Project Procrastination.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Under(neath) It All

One of the more common themes I notice when I read sites of people training for tri's or IM's is the benefits of the physical changes - the metamorphosis, if you will, of the body from mushy love handles to streamlined abs, from cottage cheese thighs to fueled-up steel pistons. Heck, if I had to get real honest, the outward physical changes were most certainly one of the more attractive selling points of signing up for such an endurance event. Well, that and the excuse to blow off progression into an otherwise adult-life by selfishly pouring my money, time and energy into bikes instead of relationships, but never you mind the details.

And I don't know what you all use to gauge physical progress - for some, its a number on a scale, for others a measured inch around a waist.

For me, its underwear.

Yep, good old-fashioned underwear - alternately my best friend and my most dreaded foe.

A good pair of bloomers will let you know if you lost those five pounds (perhaps fitting a little baggy or just right - no unsightly bulge beyond the panty line) or gained the five pounds back plus a few of their friends (thus fitting too snug to the point that your butt actually eats them right up!)

Yes, the panties are my gauge. And here is where the Ironman comes in.

See, just before my back injury (have I told you about that? I wasn't sure if I mentioned it - let me know if you need the details...), five weeks shy of IM AZ, I bought....get ready....wait for it...

My first pair of size Small underwear.

That's right. Size Small. Don't hate.

I knew I had arrived. I put them on (after washing them of course), those little pink boy-shorts with the lace edges. Awesome. Like a glove, they fit. Second skin, really. No bulging, and in fact, quite flattering. Many a day I was late for work admiring my new panta-loons.

Then the back thing, the six week hiatus from training, 10 too many bags of gummy cherries, a couple tubs of movie popcorn and 16 bags of (the big ones) pretzels later, my size Small undies have been placed back into the lingerie drawer (single tear).

Each morning, I open this drawer up, the sun shining its hopeful rays through the window of the bedroom, illuminating the treasures that lie within this tiny cabinet. And there they are, all different colors, staring back at me, wondering if I will ever love them again, confused about what they did wrong to be banished back to the dark corner of the drawer. How I wish I could tell them it wasn't their fault - oh contrary! - It was I who was unfaithful, cheating on our new relationship with the evils of sugar and bad carbs.

I know one day I will be able to liberate my little lovelies, but this week is not the week. Frankly, it's comforting to know that I have, at least once, reached this point, and that having it as my goal is enough to get me back in the pool. Because here's the thing - and ladies lemme hear ya - there's something about cute underwear that just kinda changes your mood, puts a pep in your step, makes ya feel a little saucy. So totally worth it. Lacy boy shorts, I'm commin' to get ya.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Oh, And Then There Is This...

Due to my obsessing about food in the previous post and the sudden onsent of my Chedder Cheese and Sour Cream Baked Lays haze, I forgot to let you all know....

I am offocially registered for IM AZ '08.

Getting back in the horse.

Hee Haw!

Food SOS

Interestingly enough, I have discovered that taking away Ironman training, but keeping Ironman eating, does not a skinny Megan make.

Now perhaps this is common sense, especially for a girl whose last 15 years of life has revolved around calories counting, dieting and fat banishing. But its not easy telling a body who has easily become used to 2000-calories days that include frequent snacking and guilt-less rides down Candy Cane Lane, that it has to cease and desist all non-functional noshing.

Now, the angry voices of thigh dimples and the slight pocket of extra skin that pushes against the waist band of my jeans are, at times, enough to silence my bottomless pit of a belly, but more often then not, they are working in cahoots with the darn thing. So I can't really count on them to keep me on the straight and narrow.

So it is all up to me to either begin curbing my intake, or moderating/changing that which I put in my mouth. I figured I would chose Plan B, moderation, but I am running out of tasty treats that are small enough, yet healthy enough, to keep my weight maintained in my "off-season" (this is what I am now using to reference my recovery time).

Any thoughts/suggestions?

Monday, April 16, 2007


Four years in child welfare.

Four years of seeing and hearing some of the ugliest sides of human beings.

Four years of constantly being surprised, over and over, how painful life can be for a kid whose only "crime" was to be born to parents that couldn't manage.

And today, for the first time, I heard a story that made me cry.

I was stunned. I was sick. I was so overwhelmed that I couldn't stop moving in my chair, pulling on my hair, and rubbing my forehead, almost as if I had absorbed the pain and was trying to move it out of me.

I looked around the table, and saw that I was not the only one.

As the discussion progressed, the group began to focus less on the trauma of this tiny newborn, and more on the resiliency of humans. Sadly, while this child may never recall the exact visual memories of his experiences, his sensory experiences, and his own body will be a daily reminder of his torture. But he is safe today, and he will be safe tomorrow. And he will grow, and develop and be loved, because that is his right. And that is what wee should do to child. Love them.

As I listened to this story, I kept thinking, "Baby Nolan is the same age." How different things look in his life, than in the early months of this other child. How, even in her most stressed moments, my sister hung in, reached out to her resources, said, "I am only human and can do so much," and took mommyhood one day at a time, knowing that the rough patch will pass. And it is passing, and she is sane, and Baby Nolan is as wonderful as they come. And he has a HUGE family that loves the diapers off him.

All children should have this.

But too many don't.

So my perspective for today is that I am blessed.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

A New Day

This morning my alarm clock came in the form of a phone call- a friend living in Arizona, volunteering at the race I should have been at. I rolled over, opened my eyes, and saw my Felt looking back at me (yes, I keep my bike in my bedroom). Leaning against the wall, it seemed to say, "Yeah, Meg, I know - I, too, wish that at this moment I was baking in the Arizona sun, hanging out in transition and just waiting for you to get out the water and take me for the ride of my life, but alas, not this I sympathize, but get your ass out of bed and face the day."

As I flipped open the phone, groggy and with sleepy voice, I hear, "Oh, Meg, This is AWESOME! You gotta see this!" Okay, so not quite the emotional support I was needing today, but I certainly could understand my friend's excitement - I could hear the music pulsating in the backgrounds, the excited chatter that was surrounding him - I could almost feel the sun on my own cheeks.

I pulled myself up, turned on the coffee, and perched myself on the computer chair, clicking on the site to start the Live Action feed for the race.

"And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air..."


And two minutes later, when the gun went off, so did my tears.

On one hand it was torture, but on the other, I just needed to see. I needed to, in some way, experience this moment in Tempe.

Overwhelmed with sadness and envy, I started to get a tickle in my belly. As I wiped my cheeks with the sleeve of my hoodie, I realized this tickle was hope.

Very quietly, so not to wake the house, I put on my clothes, got in my car, and went to the gym. First time in almost five weeks.

In the locker room, I put on my suit, got in the pool, and notice that, at that very minute, I would have been just emerging from Tempe Town Lake.

And I began my swim.

I began to start over, as if I were the Megan of last November, the Megan who could not fathom swimming more than 20 minutes in a shot. The Megan who struggled through her stokes, gliding for one lap, cursing the next. The Megan who couldn't flip turn. The Megan who didn't plan ahead enough to have eaten more before the swim.

But yet, this was a different Megan. This Megan was wiser. This Megan was stronger. This Megan has done the training, and was back to do it again. This Megan knew discipline, and this Megan knew that, yes, she could do it.

This Megan knew that, despite the bad laps, she could do this all day if need be. This Megan knew that this time around, she would work more on her core to make sure her back never broke again. This Megan knew how to do a five hour ride, and then when called to do it again, she could in a heartbeat. This Megan knew that, this time next year, she would be Ironman.

As I struggled through my 1000 meter swim, recognizing the blessing of an empty Sunday morning pool bestowed on me by the same Higher Power that told me this would not be the day I would be an Ironman, I stopped being sad. I just accepted.

And I came home, every block I drove wondering where I would have been on the bike at that moment. As I walked in, I turned on the computer, watching people ride, and listening to the audio of family and friends cheer. I honestly wished every stranger I saw the best for today.

And then I picked out the ones I was sure I would have beaten.

At least on the bike.

Ha ha.

I guess this Megan still has her competitiveness.

(Come on, you know you size-up other age-groupers, too)

And with that, I begin again.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Big Day

I don't know if anyone doing IM AZ reads this site, but I just wanted to put out good thoughts to all those who are taking off tomorrow in Tempe. I hear its been a bit windy lately, but hopefully things settle. You got 17 hours to finish, and as they say, "a lifetime worth of bragging." For every stroke and step you take - Good luck!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

My Pity Pot Overflowed

So I am working my way back.

I think taking a week off was helpful, as it was nice to just sort of step away from my own whining about my back and the race and the blah, blah, blah that I was moaning about to make my own ears bleed. I was feeling bad enough on my own that the guilt of involving other people was just making it worse. Plus (and I totally hear the cry-babyness of this) it was kinda hard to read about other people's training while I sat here like a mope, crying about getting confirmation emails about my "Out" status.

I figured this would be a good time to re-emerge from my self-imposed seclusion, wipe the Tostidos Lime chip crumbs of my shirt, toss out the leftover cheesecake, pick the popcorn out of my hair, put down the remote and find my swim suit and heart rate monitor before I completely disappear into sorry-for-myself oblivion.

Why now? Because this is THE weekend. As a matter of fact, I should be writing this post from the comfort of my rented house in Arizona, fresh out of the shower after a quick swim or run while I contemplate the nearing Ironman race with a cold beer on a warm night.

But alas, as you know, the IM dream was not meant to be. At least not this year.

Frankly, in the end, my back would have never healed in time. Its been five weeks since the injury, but yet it feels like five years. Things are slowly, SLOWLY progressing, and some days are better then others, but I guess that's how it goes with these things.

My coach was hoping to have me back drilling in the pool this week, but I never felt quite good enough to go. I am hoping this weekend or next week, at the latest. That is all I can do right now, but seriously, I don't care. I need to do something. Anything.

And seriously, torturing myself with secret visits to the IM AZ website are doing no one any good at this point.

So here I am.

(golf claps)

Okay. That was a bit anti-climatic.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Need a Break

I am going to take a blogging break for about a week. Despite three treatments/weekly and massage therapy, my back is not healing, but rather is still in considerable pain. The pain, plus the lack of physical activity, plus the interference with everyday life is adding up to some pretty significant depression at this point. I am just not myself right now, and instead I have become this really angry, sad and frustrated person who cries all the time and can't really think beyond managing the pain and trying to get through basic daily activities, much less trying to write a blog.

Everyone has been super supportive with this over the last five weeks (though it feels like five months). I know I will pull myself back together once things start to right themselves, but until then, I am just really struggling emotionally and just need to take a step back from everything and everyone.

But please don't forget I am out here, and I will really try to get back to this in about a week.

Monday, April 2, 2007

My Day

Today I got an email:

"Dear Ironman Arizona Participant:
The bib numbers for the 2007 Ironman Arizona will be assigned this week. If you are not racing and do not need a bib number, please hit the Reply button, leaving the subject line intact, and make sure to include your name in the body of the letter."

And wouldn't ya know, it took me forever to hit reply.

But I did.

Letting go appears to a process with this thing.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Sure Signs of Spring

The other day the ice cream truck arrived in our neighborhood, his little musical ditty blaring from his sort-of creepy white truck filled with all things creamy and delicious. And I would have been the first one there, but knocking down and stepping over the other kids take a lot more time than you'd think.

Hey, don't let the pipe cleaner arms fool ya - I'll tackle your ass if there's a Firecracker pop within a five mile radius.

And besides, why have all this strength if you can't use it, right?

And of course, with every spring, we have weddings, and this spring will not disappoint. From my best friend's (which I am actually standing up in! Can you say FULL-LENGTH blue-and-white seer sucker? Now THAT'S the hotness!) to another friend's wedding (which will actually take place in my old high school), to my own sister's later in the summer (I am officiating that seriously I, I am the one marrying them...fine, laugh.)

I have been somewhat fortunate not to have a ton of "associates" or sort-of friends, so I have escaped the trauma of a 10-wedding summer, like some girls I know. Three in a year is the most I have had to deal with, so I am pretty lucky.

This season's wedding bonanza kicked off last night with my first ever engagement party. Well, not MINE, but my friend Anne-Marie's. It was at a country club where the wedding will be held, and it was fairly intimate. It was nice, but here's the thing - she is marrying this guy we went to high school with, but who was a year older than us, and she didn't really know when we were actually in high school. They re-met about two years ago and it's been loving bliss since, I guess.

But because of the whole high school connection, there were a lot of people from high school there. And most of the groom's friends were in my graduating class. So I show up and walk into a room filled with guy's I spent a great deal of time hanging out with (and/or kissing) in high school, but have not connected with since then. Yeah, not so easy to make conversation with sort-of strangers. What do you say? "Hey, what have you been up to the last 12 years?" Meanwhile, they all have law firm jobs, wives and three kids, and you're trying to explain you're complicated child welfare position and why something like that Ironman is important to you, all the while thinking, "Yeah, do you really care what I'm saying beyond having something to gossip about later?" And frankly, if I actually really cared, I would have kept up contact in the first place. I totally know that sounds cynical, but that was high school in a nutshell - bleak, fake and unpredictable.


Happy days are here again.

(On a side note, though, thanks to my sister Ellen and her love of fashion, I was kinda smokin' last night, if I do say so myself (and, as the Queen of Ponytail, I rarely do). I even threw some makeup on these old wrinkles and brushed the hair, which together with my Iron-fit bod totalled up to quite a lovely package. My daily self-deprecation aside, I can rock the hottness when called to task. And never is it more appreciated than reunion-like appearances with high school people you haven't seen in ten years.)

And the hugging thing? What is that about? Does anyone else feel slightly uncomfortable with rubbing up against people you don't really know under the guise of saying "hello?" I never liked the whole hugging thing. Yuck. And it was the guys that did it! Most of the women just stuck out their hands for a shake, which I greatly appreciated.

At the end of the night, I seemed to relax a bit, as I will be seeing these people much more in the next few months. And I am really happy for my friend, who really seems to have the real deal with her groom, after a seven-years disaster that has once left her broken and suicidal. These two are wise, insightful, dedicated and mature about this whole idea of marriage, and that is what I celebrate. I celebrate security, cooperation, reality-based planning, intelligence, humor and mutual respect.

Don't ever let anyone tell you I'm not a romantic at heart.

Viva la Spring!
P.S. The above picture was not taken last night - it was from the day of my sister's wedding last year. I thought I looked kinda smarmy, and the sentiment fit with the post.