Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Can You Ever Just be "Whelmed?"

Feels like I’ve been far away from here for a while. And, alas, this is what happens when I am writing because I have to (i.e., in class). I have to force myself to remember that the whole writing thing is because I want to. But here I am!

Where to begin? Saturday I learned a great deal about The Boy who is to become my husband. Walking up to the registry desk at Hecht’s, he cut me off and announced, “Excuse me, we need to get a gun.” I (glared at him) and explained with a weak smile, “We’d like to begin a registry.” Thus began an entire day’s worth of apologizing for a man who looked like the one I know and love, except for that crazy expression in his eyes and the rapidity and volume with which the inappropriateness spewed from his mouth. (Admission: I know, he’s usually inappropriate, and thus the partial basis of his appeal, but this was out of control.) We watched, bemused, as Carol, who has been a team member for six years, but you wouldn’t know it, hunted and pecked every letter of our lives (“How do you spell Christina? Is it t-i-a?”). Once the boy finally received the scanner, he was disappointed. “Do you have one that looks more like a gun?” He asked. My eyes spent more of the day rolling than in their normal state.

We began with china, and I didn’t have many opinions, but he did, so I deferred (a theme of the day, for both of us. It's actually one of the things I love most about this little partnership.). At one point, the list of suggestions we were working from seemed to differ greatly from the options in front of us, so I meandered around the department looking for things they did have. The Boy said, “Wait, just wait a minute. Can we please just go and get a butter dish? I can’t handle all this jumping around, and if we’re not careful, we’ll forget that altogether and then we won’t have anything to serve butter with, because what are we going to use? Our casual butter dish? So can we please just go and get a butter dish? Please, it would make me feel a lot better.” As he scanned a crystal butter dish neither of us even liked, I swear he sighed with relief.

It was the Twilight Zone, complete with a six-foot-tall Halloween decoration that looked like Uncle Fester. It had a sensor that caused it to speak when anyone walked in front of it. A seven-year-old blond, buck-toothed kid discovered this feature, and parked himself in front of it. In ten minutes, he set it off no fewer than 25 times. One of the lines it said was, “Just wait and SEE what will happen if you do that again.” The Boy yelled, loud enough for all in the vicinity to hear, “Yeah, kid, just wait and SEE!” Along with various other declarations of how he really felt. Finally, he stormed across the aisle and stomped on the power switch, much to the horror of mothers passing by. I smiled apologetically and steered him to pots and pans, where I learned of his affinity for all things Teflon. We finally got out of there, hours later, but just barely. I think he had, at that point, developed a facial tic.

We decided a snack (and maybe a beer, for him) would be a good idea before our next store. In TGI Friday’s, I cringed as he tried to order an appetizer, “Yeah, can I just get the chip-the-chip-these chipdips, please?” I explained to the waitress, “We just registered for our wedding; he’s a little shaken.” Thankfully, she was not bitter but newly married herself, and she steered us away from our next destination and toward…that’s right, The Great Beyond. Apparently, there was time.

In The Great Beyond, The Boy was far more relaxed. Except for his wanting to march back to Hecht’s to tell them what a real scanner gun was made of, and announcing loudly in the shower curtain section, “Honestly, I just don’t know what to do—I think we’ve run out of colors to use,” he acted mostly like a normal person.

A nice double dinner date with couple friends at a fabulous (unbeknownst to us) little bistro (outside of which, Nicole Kidman is shooting a movie—show of hands, did anyone know that?), then football (for him) and homework (for me) on Sunday, and that was our weekend.

I was actually excited as I approached Massachusetts Ave on Monday evening, as surely this would be my first incident-free trip to D.C. for class. It was not to be. In all my excitement, I missed my turn to find the elusive parking lot and got hella turned around. And it was raining. And I was yelling, particularly at the incredibly obstinate pedestrians who litter the streets of Washington. Don’t get me wrong—I have no problem with pedestrians in general. But you can’t just walk across any street you want, whenever you want and swear at cars that really should just hit you. Ugh. Having said that, I deserved about 85 percent of the yelling I got. Now, a numerical recap of my drive to class:

Cars that honked and made hand gestures at me: 7
One-way streets I drove down the wrong way: 1
Cars I honked at for almost killing me: 2
Cab drivers I made hand gestures/yelled at: 5
Pedestrians I thought mean thoughts about: 409
Number of times I uttered, “Are you freaking kidding me:” 1,786
Times I circled Dupont Circle: 4
Times I drove past N Street, but not where I needed it: 3
Minutes late I was to class: 9
Mistakes I made on the way out of the city: 0

In better news, Tuesday’s trip to class was completely incident-free! Hooray! We take our victories, however microscopic, wherever we can get them.

Also occurring this week, I finally earned the right to say, “I’d tell you what I do, but then I’d have to kill you,” after a 17-month sitting, waiting, wishing period.

It seems we will probably close on the house within the next week or so, if I can manage to stop flipping out and threatening to cancel the whole thing. Fortunately, I’ve only been doing this with my mortgage broker, who also happens to be The Boy. He tells me I need to relax, and he’s probably right. My perspective has needed a bit of adjusting lately.

Other than that, my new hobby has become changing my shoes. I’ll elaborate on this later, as it really has become too essential to my life just to mention as an aside.

1 comment:

eh said...

I hear you can in Europe!

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