Monday, April 26, 2010

The Competition

This weekend, we celebrated my sister-in-law's birthday. There were presents, there was cake. There was homemade ice cream (Ben's Rocky Road) and sherbet (my orange, which my brother said was disgusting, though everyone else seemed to like it).

There was singing. We sang "Sto Lat," Poland's traditional, "For she's a jolly-good fellow" song which means, "May she live a hundred years for us." We sang a traditional "Happy Birthday" twice-- once for Skye, and once for Zoey who also wanted to blow out a candle. We sang the "Unbirthday Song" from "Alice in Wonderland" for everyone else. Dan, Skye's dad, sang "The Strawberry Roan" by Marty Robbins, but that was completely unrelated.

It was a big-time party. Paizlee was wearing what looked like Daisy Dukes and a wife-beater (we allow this because she's six-months-old, and she was covered in goop, not because we promote immodesty in our family). Zoey helped her mom open presents. Our friend Lola kept us laughing with stories about the chickens she used to keep, and how she'd named them after her sisters. Dad made some pretty good burgers, and Jacob dropped his on my mom's dining room chair. Shhh! She doesn't know. All in all, it was a good time. Until the goodbyes.

That little Zoey is such a hussy. She's got this infatuation with chapstick. She calls it her "lips" and she won't do anything until she has lips on. Like, on the days I take care of her, she'll say, "Aunt Rachy, I need to go potty." And I'll say, "OK, let's go." And she'll say, "In a minute-- I need lips." Seriously.

Sometimes she digs up only lipstick from heaven-knows-where (under Ashley's old bed, I suspect). Sometimes she looks like this:

Anyway, yesterday she was in typical form, and was good enough to put "lips" on everyone at the party. Good thing we don't have mouth issues, right? Germy.

But the other thing is, Zoey likes to kiss. Now, this should not be a big surprise. She is, after all, a Sego. She even has a boyfriend-- a 3-year-old from nursery named Wes. Apparently Z was putting lips on Wes, including some really sparkly stuff, and then Wes kissed her. We asked if he was a good kisser and she said yes. A girl after my own heart.

But, the problem with Sego girls is that we sometimes actually steal other girls' men, often without even noticing it. It happened to me once in high school, and to this day a girl named Christy doesn't have much use for me. And, OK, actually it happened more than once, but not enough to justify my nickname (the Black Widow). Whatever.

So, we were saying goodbye. Jacob had to go do some home teaching, and he was my ride. We gathered our things and Zoey gave me a big hug. It was tender. And even though she wouldn't talk to "Big Jake" for the first half hour of the party, she went to give him a hug as well. He picked her up for his own big squeeze, and that little tart kissed him on the lips! When I asked him about it later, he said she'd just puckered up and he went for it.

I think my two-and-a-half year-old niece could teach me a thing or two.

Friday, April 23, 2010

By Way of Update: The Big Ouch

Remember last night's record-breaking stand-uppage? Well, add to that tonight's little gem. I think I just got dumped. Via the friend. Hundred's Bosom Buddy just told me he doesn't think his friend is interested. Oops!
Good thing I don't like ice cream and I've got a lot of weeds to pull tonight. Nothing like drowning one's sorrows in yard work, eh?

Pardon Me if I'm Right

There are a few phrases in the English language that give me the willies. They include but are not limited to

* "I think I'll go slip into something a little more comfortable."
* "We need to talk."
* "No offense, but..."

I try to avoid using these phrases at all cost. Obviously, I've not had an opportunity to use the first one, but someday when I get married, I promise to not say it. It's icky. Instead, it's my (funny) plan to, on my way to my honeymoon from the reception, rock back and forth and in a shaky, scared voice sing, "Girl, you'll be a woman soon."

As far as the next one, if you need to talk, talk. This qualifying statement strikes fear in the hearts of all rational people everywhere. "We need to talk" just means you're gonna get reamed.

And finally, the phrase "no offense" is just plain awful. I remember a girl I knew growing up always saying it, and then following it up with one rude comment after another. I remember saying it to another childhood friend, but she didn't know what it meant, and by the time I was done trying (unsuccessfully) to explain it to this dopey girl, I was mad as heckfire. I did think it was funny Ricky Bobby in that wonderful movie "Talladega Nights" would say "with all due respect" instead, and my beloved fictional Georgia Nicholson always says "Pardon me if I'm right" (rather than "excuse me if I'm wrong") and I get a hearty laugh. But still, you pretty much know that if you use any of these variations, you are inevitably going to be super rude.

Then again, isn't there that old saying that it's a fool who takes offense when none is intended? As much as nonsense delights me, I am trying to be less foolish, though not less spineless.

For example, last night I got doubly stood-up. That's right-- two boys! Haha! I'm not at all mad, though, because it's actually rather funny. As you know, Big Jake was supposed to come over last night, but the poor little peanut has been having a difficult week. I'd actually given him a gracious way out the night before, and he took me up on it. Was I upset? Not at all. And what soothed any ruffled feathers (not that there were any, but had there been) was No. 102 asking me for ice cream after class last night. Except that after we were done with our karaoke rendition of "Love Shack," he took off without saying goodbye. No pistachio ice cream for me, I guess. Must have been my singing, though I can't imagine anyone thinking that a) my "Tin roof, rusted" was anything less than charming and b) that I was worse than that horrible kid singing Harry Belafonte's "Day-o." Regardless, I think it's a new record. I'm not offended, I'm amused.

And I didn't get offended or even that bothered when last night, for the second night in a row, I woke up to my phone ringing at a ghastly hour. Wednesday night a call came in about 2:15. Last night, the phone woke me up at 1:45. Rude, right? It was a number I didn't recognize, so I didn't answer, but both times I was really surprised at the lateness of the hour. Last night I got a little worried and had trouble falling back to sleep. I'm pretty sure it was a wrong number, but let's hope Big Jake didn't scrawl my phone number on a bathroom stall in Deming during our road trip. This morning, I called the number about 7 a.m. after I got out of the shower and dressed for the day. The ringtone was some kind of metal-band brouhaha. I wasn't impressed. A very groggy voice answered the phone (some would argue that calling before 8 a.m. is quite rude, but then again, isn't calling at 1:45 a.m. also a bit inconsiderate?). I said, in my most-chipper voice, "Good morning! I've missed a couple calls from this number!" The man said, "Who is this?" in what I think he imagined was a sexy voice. I said, "This is Rachel, and I think you've been dialing my number by mistake. Who is this?" I couldn't really tell if he said his name was Woody or Willy or something else, but it didn't matter. He said, "Your voice sounds kind of familiar." I wanted to say, "Yeah, chump. It's because you've been listening to my voicemail greeting, you little perv." But I just said, "Well, I'm sure you've been calling the wrong number, but have a nice day!" See, not offended. Just killing with kindness.

I will say one thing that offended me just a bit this week was doing yard work, and discovering a lighter in the long grasses near my block wall. I'm pretty sure it belonged to the scum bucket who tried to break into my house (the second round) last summer. He must have dropped it while scaling the wall. I did have one guest who smokes since then, but she wouldn't use a cheap Bic lighter. Seems really beneath her, so I have every reason to believe it was Mr. Thievery Pants. Still, it's nothing to get worked up about. And forgive me if I've offended my readers who smoke, but you know, no offense.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

(Aunt) of the Year

Sometimes my talking niece (as opposed the one who just shrieks and gurgles still) slips up and calls me "mom." I don't tell my sister-in-law this because I think it would hurt my feelings if my kid did this to another woman. I'm not talking about that embarrassing moment when you called your 2nd-Grade teacher "mom" out of familiarity and by mistake. No, it's pretty consistent. Anyway, let me first clarify and say that there is no mistake that Mom (the girls' REAL mom) is easily #1 in their lives. When SIL is around, the kids want very little to do with me, and I'm ok with that. But can I confess something? I don't always bother to correct little Miss Z. I mean, why embarrass her (did you know that 2-year-olds get embarrassed? It totally happens), and secretly, it's sweet to hear someone call me that, even if it's a mistake.
On the other hand, I'm not sure if I'm really a good sub Mom. I do think, however, that I'm Super Aunt. My duties include teaching the girls how to sing Polish folk songs and to do other funny little tricks, like singing a high-pitched "wooooh" at the end of songs in tribute to the Beatles, or to finish a beverage with a jazzed-up "Zig-a-zig" preceding the "ahh" for some Spice Girls sassiness. Z loves to do "paperwork" with Aunt Rachel and has her own office supplies-- how I love my little CEO-in-training! I paint her fingernails and toenails, and I love parading her around at Walmart and Target where she says hello to strangers (under my very close supervision, of course, but she is a Sego after all-- we don't know any strangers). Even disgusting things like taking her to the potty aren't terrible. I got a real kick out of her face yesterday while she was um, straining to do her business. She announced, "Oh, that was a big one!" Sorry, I know this is gross, and you all probably read over here because you don't get the child BM report, but it was SOOOO funny, especially because all her effort didn't really produce much. Poor little thing!
But Z (and P now as well) and I have so many grand adventures together. The other day we sat in my mom's car while she made a quick run into Costco. We people-watched, and got to see an old man with Conway Twitty hair, cowboy suit pants (the shiny ones-- ugh!), a plastic-looking leather vest, and a shiny, baby-blue Members Only Jacket. He was parked across from us and we got a look at the little red plastic cowboy boot hanging from his rear view mirror. Without provocation, Z recognized that something was up with this brother. We both had a good laugh.
Additionally, I told her last night that my friend Rudy was coming over. She then verified this information via question, "You have a friend coming over tonight Rachy?" I said, "Yes. Do you remember when you came over to my house for Easter? You met him. His name is Rudy. He is very cute." She said, "I like him, he's cuuude." It made me laugh. I asked her who she liked better-- little Rudy or Big Jake, because Big Jake is coming over tonight. She said she likes Big Jake. I'm not sure it's because I said his name second, or if it is because she does indeed remember "Big Jake." Regardless, the child makes me laugh.
Anyway, maybe it's silly. Maybe it's my fabled biological clock is ticking. Maybe it's because in my culture, Motherhood is the most important thing ever (which I completely buy into, even though I'm grateful I'm having all this time of freedom before that happens). But I'm beginning to see why parents get so excited about their children. Paizlee has two bottom teeth now, and is the cutest baby ever. She looks like a Cabbage Patch Kid! Still, I know I'm not fit for motherhood yet because I'm sorely tempted to temporarily tattoo the name "Xavier Roberts" on her precious little bum.

Monday, April 19, 2010

For those Following these Things...

Went out with No. 100 again this weekend. Our date included a movie we both thought was funny, though I kept thinking, "Oops! I'm the Relief Society President, and I probably shouldn't be laughing." Those PG-13ers are a little tricky that way. But if you love Tina Fey and Steve Carrell, you already know what I'm talking about...
Other highlights were parking under an overpass in downtown Albuquerque, where I was sure we were gonna get shanked. It was raining, and we were sitting in my car, parked behind his truck, and trying to figure out what to do (Hundred doesn't mind short dates, I guess, but I wanted to spend a little more time with him than afforded by the movie) and I saw someone running up behind my car. I grabbed my friend's arm a little bit harder than I probably should have, but he just laughed because there was also a girl running towards-- and then past-- us. They were just trying to get out of the rain.
Later, at NM's Premier Drink Spot (Sonic, that is), there was a shady looking fella who approached the truck, but Hundred shooed him away. I probably wouldn't have minded if there wasn't a gang fight to the left, an adult entertainment store across the parking lot, and a man peeing in some bushes behind us.
All in all, good date. I enjoy my time with this chap, and am totally up for going out some more, but you should all be happy to know that I'll be going out with 101 soon. It would just be too cheesy to stop at 100 different guys, don't you think? And there's no rule against returning to the list. Heck, I go out with 71 all the time.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Statistics Prove

Illustration Courtesy Some Canadian or Other

Dear Aaron, Adam, Adam, Adrian, Andrew, Ashley, Bill, Brad, Brett, Caleb, Chad, Chad, Chandler, Chris, Chris, Christian, David, David, David, David, Drew, Drew, Eddie, Edgar, Eric, Eric, Eric, Gavin, Geoff, Grant, Hunter, Jacob, Jacob, Jeff, Joe, Joe, Jon, Jonathan, Josh, Josh, Josh, Judge, Justin, Justin, Justin, Keith, K.T., Lael, Lance, Lauritz, Luke, Mark, Matt, Matt, Matt, Michael, Michael, Mike, Morris, Nathan, Nate, Paul, Peter, Peter, Rance, Ray, Reuben, Richard, Ryszard, Rick, Robert, Russ, Ryan, Sean, Sean, Sean, Sean, Shaun, Shawn, Seth, Seth, Sev, Spencer, Spencer, Stephen, Stephen, Stephen, Steve, Todd, Toph, Travis, Travis, Travis, Trevor, Tyler, Wendel, Wesley and Weston—this is for you!

When I was about 12 or 13 years old, I remember a girl named Katie Robinson giving a youth talk in church. As I recall, Katie was really into listening to talk tapes (remember cassettes?) with dating advice, and she generously imparted wisdom to all of her friends. In Sacrament meeting one fateful Sunday, she announced her intention to go on dates with 100 different boys before she got married, saying that she wanted to be sure she knew what she wanted in a spouse. She got married shortly after her 18th birthday and high school graduation.

A few years later, I ran into Katie at church after my first semester at BYU, where I’d gone out with plenty of boys. Out of curiosity, I asked her how many boys she went out with before she married her husband Wes. She estimated it was somewhere in the 40s, which is pretty impressive, given her relatively short dating career. I jokingly told her I might just take up her cause.

My friends, the lesson here is not to joke! Well, for better or for worse, I’ve finally met Katie’s original goal, and I thought I’d share a bit of what I’ve learned so far. For simplicity’s sake, I write addressing my former beaux.

At least 47 percent of you are married now, and at least 32 percent of you have children. I’ve kissed 15 of you (and some of you many, many times), plus another 15 boys I’ve not gone on dates with (this line is a shout-out to Stephen G., Ryan, Isaac, Tim M., Stephen [the True Aggie guy], Gabe, Billy, Amador, Trevor, Anthony, Tim L., Rudy and Jared). Hope that doesn’t upset the 85 who didn’t get a chance for a kiss or the 15 who didn’t get a chance for a date! Three of you are gay and out, and there are about 10 others who I have my suspicions about.

Demographically speaking, most of you are from either Utah (29) or New Mexico (27). Other leading state representatives are Texas and California (8 each). The youngest boy I’ve ever gone on a date with was nine years younger than I am, and the oldest man was 11 years older than I am. 92% are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Twice, I’ve gone out with first-and-last-name repeats (two of the Erics and the two Drews), but I seem most likely to date boys named Sean in any variation, or with Stephens and Davids. There are at least 42 of you I’d still consider very close friends, and only 8 who I’d rather forget existed. There’s only one of you I really think I should have married, and only two who caused any kind of real emotional damage, and one of those (in the case of Shawn C.) wasn’t even your fault—it was your psycho ex-girlfriend.

Without attaching names to negative experiences, some of my worst dates included the guy who made me leave a concert early and run through heavy rain to his car on the opposite end of the Marriott Center parking lot so he wouldn’t be late for his next date; the guy who kept looking at his own reflection in the window behind me at a restaurant; and let’s not forget the boy who tried to take me and a friend out on the same date at the same time, who capped the night off by telling me I had “the best personality, but [was] not physically attractive.”

Then of course, there were surprising dates people love to hear about. Yes, I’ve gone out with three little people (these dates were completely fun and normal, but for some reason no one cares about the guys who were about 6’7”). I went out with a man getting ready to enter the Catholic priesthood. There was the chap who wore the cape he’d sewn himself (it was lined with white faux fur) and a guy who yelled at me during a formal dance.

Of course, not all my dates were weird or bad. Plenty of them aren’t even noteworthy. The only time I was really caught off-guard was on a blind date set up by some girls in my ward. They wanted me to go out with their brother—they thought we’d be “perfect together.” These girls were really nice and beautiful, so I thought, “What the heck?” Their brother was a very sweet chap, but when he came to pick me up it became clear he had some developmental disabilities. I still went out with him, of course, and I probably would have under any circumstances, but I sure wish those girls had mentioned it before. Also, I spent the whole date wondering if they thought I was also a little slow.

I typically like nice, low-key dates—hanging out in a park, watching movies, etc. I love festivals and I love dances. I like walking around, looking at unusual things and unusual people. One of my favorites was when one of the Shauns took me to the zoo and made all these animal mating call noises. Of course, there were a few of those mind-blowing fancy dates I’ll always remember—my friend Travis taking me to Park City to the Alpine Slide and dinner at a cute little restaurant, or my friend Stephen taking me to BYU Homecoming after our friend Hilary alerted him I’d never been asked. Stephen looked so handsome, and I was seriously proud to be out with him. Then again, Ray and I used to have a lot of fun at the antique stores, and both Andrew and Mike proved to be good dates for fancy (read: stuffy) corporate dinners.

On the kissing front, there was a whole range of bizarre experiences, but mostly they’ve turned out ok. Remember the guy who’d never kissed a girl and had to text a question/answer service for move ideas? The weirdest place for a first kiss was probably in Ft. Union Texaco, where Chevron and I smooched behind the Otis Spunkmeyer display. The smoothest first kiss prize goes to Jeff, though I have to laugh that he used my own fail-safe line to reel me in. As for the bad kissers, well… I’m not here to destroy anyone’s self-esteem.

All in all, it’s been a good 100 first dates (plus some pretty wonderful subsequent dates). Things are going well at the moment social-life wise but I doubt I’m done with my list yet. Let’s just hope I don’t have to make it to 200.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sleep? Who needs it?

I think I may have snapped.
This morning, I slept in until the last possible minute (as usual). I was in a daze, trying to get myself going after only a few hours sleep, and to facilitate the waking-up process I played the world's most embarrassing CD on my stereo.
Yes, my friends, to get going I listened to the soundtrack from "High School Musical."

Monday, April 5, 2010

Like Sands of the Hourglass

Honestly, where does my life go? I'm not doing so well as this blog repenting thing as I'd like. Here is a brief recap of my week:

Monday night-- donated a pint of blood, met the girls for dinner, Relief Society Presidency meeting, got home-taught by the world's greatest home teachers, Daniel and Brad. Jacob brought me some beautiful flowers. JF (aka Bobby Hill) asked someone if we were getting married. I laughed, but the flowers are still wonderful.

Tuesday, celebrated the cosmic event of Daniel's birth. He is no longer a teenager. He is, however, still the sweetest little man on the planet. I'm pretty grateful to have him in my life. Plus also, he's super popular. There were tons of people at his party! Glad he had a good day.

Wednesday, spent the day with the little girls. They were mostly well-behaved, but as usual, I was ready to chillax when I got home. Highlight of the day was this picture from Clint, celebrating "Business Time" (you Flight of the Conchords fans will appreciate this, and would have probably appreciated some of the other text messages I received that night, but this kind of sums it up politely).

Thursday is a bit of a blur-- I think I cleaned house and sprayed weeds and that kind of mumbo-jumbo. Friday I danced around a bit with 80s-inspired hair (which JWH said was "sexy 80s, not cheesy 80s").

Saturday and Sunday were devoted to watching LDS General Conference, one of my favorite things ever!

So, as you can see, life is fun, but I'm not sure I have a whole lot to write about. Last night I had 15 guests over for Easter Dinner, and when I get home from work I have to face a mountain of dishes I was too tired to take care of last night, and I need to sort through some leftovers to see what I might be able to pawn off, uh, that is, feed to my friends tonight. I don't know how my mom and I managed it, but I think we could've fed all 16 of us for a week straight. And here we were thinking there wouldn't be enough, ha!
Other excitement for the week: Must bind those books I've been working on! Must celebrate another great day in history-- the anniversary of Lou's birth, which will be challenging, as she is working on the actual day. I'm working on the yard and fixing up some stuff here and there. Looking into getting a booth at a consignment shop if I can find a decent place for a decent price. You know, the usual. As tonight's FHE, I'll try to do something scandalous to write about for your reading pleasure.