Posts Tagged ‘my mom thinks i’m nuts’

Years ago – when I was old enough to know better, but still prone to stupid mistakes – my parents left me at home with a friend while they participated in a progressive dinner. They were hosting the main course, so they’d be back eventually, and my only instructions were not to touch the pot roast that was cooking upstairs.

No problem.

Cara and I were downstairs watching a movie when we got hungry and decided to make ramen. To this day, I’m not sure why I didn’t just pause the movie, go upstairs, and make the soup. But then again, hindsight is 20/20.

I decided to boil water in the downstairs microwave, which was situated so that I could still see the TV.

The next thing I knew there was a fire in the microwave.

You see, the “still prone to stupid mistakes” part of me didn’t think about the fact that I had used a metal pot – with a plastic handle – to boil the water.

It was the handle that caught on fire and was slowly burning up, blackening the formerly white microwave and stinking up the entire downstairs.

I grabbed the first thing I could find – a ladle – and tried to fill it up with water to toss on the flames. Cara, the calmer of the two of us, pointed out that the bowl (next to the ladle) would hold more water.

Good point.

We safely extinguished the fire and nervously waited for my parents to get home. Even if I could have hidden the microwave, there was no hiding the smell.

I remember wondering just how mad my parents would be, and what they’d say when they walked through the door.

First words from Mama:

Whatever happened, that better not be the pot roast.

I thought there’d be more, but they had company coming, so my microwave-shenanigans weren’t fully addressed that night.

Fast forward a few weeks to Christmas morning, opening our stockings.

My mom has always been an expert stocking stuffer. She manages to find the perfect mix of fun doodads and incredibly useful things that you didn’t know you needed until you open them. But always smaller, lighter things (and each individually wrapped, to make it more fun).

My stocking that year, however, was fully weighed down in the toe and as I made my way through the rest I was both excited and curious.

The last thing I pulled out – the heavy thing – was probably about seven inches tall and cylindrical. And I couldn’t even begin to guess as to what it was.

I certainly wasn’t expecting the huge can of heavy duty microwave cleaner. Though maybe I should have been.

I imagine that my mom must have been smirking as I pulled off the wrapping, but I don’t remember that for a fact.

I do know that, given the damage I did to the microwave, and the smell that permeated the house for at least a week, I was lucky that the cleaner wasn’t the only thing in my stocking that year.

And no, I haven’t boiled water in the microwave since.

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Don’t act like you weren’t expecting this. You know how I love me a list.

If the 26 list had several items requiring attitude adjustment (letting go of grudges, judging less), 27 is a little more concrete.

So, as I march into my late-20s, I want to:

1) Get married!

2) Go to Phillies spring training in Clearwater.

3) Learn to drive stick. My younger cousin tried to teach me once. It wasn’t pretty. I don’t think I’ll be able to convince him to give me another shot.

4) Make my own creme brulee. (I already own the blowtorch!)

5) Run Boston (which will also mean fundraising, because try as I might, I’m not qualifying).

6) Stop talking about doing more yoga and actually DO more yoga. Let’s aim for once a week.

7) Read more. Last year I set the bar at 10 books, and finished 18. So let’s go for 30 this year. With my new Kindle Fire I’m unstoppable!

8 ) Try a new recipe every other week.

9) Travel somewhere new, even if it’s a neighborhood in DC I’ve never been to before. Though I would like to branch out a little more than that.

10) Create a bucket list. I’m honestly not sure why I haven’t done that yet.

11) Learn to fear the ocean less.

12) Eat dimsum. It just sounds fun.

13) Get involved with the youth program at church. For all the work I do with camp, you’d think I could do a little more locally.

14) Visit the Statue of Liberty. I was sick the day of the middle school class trip and I’ve never made up for it. Maybe we could even throw Ellis Island on there for good measure!

15) Replace my computer. My trusty MacBook is 5 1/2 years old and the hard drive has crashed twice. It’s time.

16) Host a seder.

17) Learn to make challah from scratch. (Do you notice the trend of food goals?)

18) Visit at least one new state.

19) Finish all the “thank you” notes within 2 months of the wedding.

20) Set a new half marathon PR.

21) Take a bike ride out to Mount Vernon.

22) See all the Oscar nominations for Best Picture (before the Oscars).

23) Get involved in international volunteer work.

24) Volunteer at a race.

25) Explore my career options. (Yes, this is intentionally vague.)

26) Give blood. (Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe you have to wait a year after getting a tattoo, so I should be eligible in May 2013.)

27) Set a new 10k PR.

I suppose this list could be summed up in three words: food, running, travel.

And I see nothing wrong with that.

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I didn’t do quite so well on the birthday list this year.

I’m proud of a few things, but others, like I mentioned, are a little harder to measure.

For instance, I don’t think I’ve turned into a bridezilla (#19), but would anyone really tell me if I had?

On the positive side, I have…

…planned the better part of my wedding (#5).

…kept track of restaurants, even if I haven’t made it to all of them on my list (#21).

…taken more pride in my personal appearance (#25). I still sometimes leave the apartment with wet hair, but I also bought some hot rollers and can now leave home with sexy curls. At least, that’s what I tell myself.

…minimized job complaints (#26). Maybe because I’m happier at work, or maybe because there’s only one person who truly gets my goat, but complaints are down significantly.

I’m kind of disappointed that I didn’t make the time for a Duck Tour (#13) or a DC United game (part of #24), but hopefully I’ll get to those by the end of the summer.

So I’m 18/26 with just the weekend to go. Not the best completion rate.

I do, however, still have about 72 hours to get my Duck Tour, stop judging and grudging (for real!), play golf, go to 4 different restaurants, and check out DC United.

Totally doable, right?


Okay. Maybe just the driving range, then.

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Not for you. Don’t worry.

For me. Or rather, I am the spoiler.*

To say that I am impatient is an understatement. I like to think that it’s part of my charm, but I don’t ask just in case that’s not the case.

The thing is, I don’t think of it as “spoiling.” I think of it as enjoying the journey once I know the destination. I might already know the outcome, but I love finding out how we get there.

I do it with books, movies, TV shows – not all of them, but a lot. And occasionally I’ve even played Nancy Drew (can “detective” be another word for spoiler?) when I know BNF has a surprise up his sleeve. Which I suppose would only count as spoiling if I were ever able to figure out the surprise ahead of time.

But in preparing for this coming weekend I gave my inner Nancy Drew time off.

This weekend is my bridal shower and bachelorette party up in Philly, and I know next to nothing about what’s involved. Cla, the bridesmaids, and my mom have skillfully kept all details to themselves.

At one point, early on, I was talking to my mom, trying to weasel out some information.

Oh, do you want me to pass anything on to Cla? Any details or thoughts?

(I don’t remember my exact wording. I like to think I was sneakier than that. I probably wasn’t.)

No. I’ll call her myself.

Well played, Mama.

The thing I’m realizing, though, as I go into this, is that I’m SO excited to be surprised!

I mean, of course the control freak in me is dying to know every last detail, but the bigger part of me is as giddy as a kid on Christmas morning. (A normal kid, who didn’t sneak downstairs in the middle of the night to dig through her stocking and try to peek at presents, and thus know what to expect.)

Now, does recognition of this feeling mean that I’m a reformed spoiler, and that I’m not going to look up the episodes of Game of Thrones anymore before I watch them?

Don’t be ridiculous.

But maybe I’ll resist the urge to guess the next time BNF mentions a surprise.


*For the record, I only ever spoil myself. I fully realize that not everyone shares my “must know now!” attitude.

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Leading up to Sunday, I told myself that Philly should be a fun marathon. No pressure. I’d already PR’ed twice, and I really just wanted to enjoy the run. That was my intention.

Photo Credit: Mama

But then, around miles 8 through 10, I realized that I was keeping a fairly steady average pace of just under 10:00. And I started wondering if I could keep that up for the entire race.

Photo Credit: Mama

The short answer is no. I couldn’t. I kept it up until about miles 20 to 21, and then I hit the wall. The weather was great; the course was beautiful (albeit, hilly); the spectators were loud; and the signs were creative. But my body knew that it was almost done for the year and it decided that it wanted to be done NOW.

So I pushed. I talked to myself. I sang out loud a little bit. I promised my body that we’d be done in just a few more songs.

Around mile 24, I wanted to cry, because every inch of my body was in pain, but I couldn’t. There was simply no moisture left.

Around mile 25, I turned off my music and let myself be propelled by the cheering.

And as I crossed the finish line, I acknowledged that the pushing was worth it, as I saw my third PR in three attempts.

Official time: 4:26:34

Once I’d finished my bottle of water, I did cry. But they were very happy, very exhausted, very proud, and very relieved (that I don’t have to do this again for a long time) tears.

Philly’s tag line was “Best:Time of Your Life.” And it was.


Photo Credit: Harry

*Before the race started, BNF saw a guy with a sign that said, “On a scale of 1 to 10, you’re a 13.1.” As the sign guy saw him appreciate it and saw BNF’s marathon bib, he told him, “You’re a 26.2!”

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When we were in Chicago, the day after the marathon, MJ and I got to chatting with a few other runners about past races they’d done and how they compared.

Well,” one guy started, “I did the Marine Corps Marathon last year and Chicago’s spectators were way better. In DC all you get are bitchy Washingtonians sipping their lattes and cheering you on. It’s so annoying.

Really?” I responded. “Because we’re actually from DC* and did Marine Corps last year, too. And I have to tell you – Chicago’s spectators may have been more organized, but the signs in DC were far more creative. I loved the spectators at Marine Corps.”

It kind of took the wind out of his sails, which was part of the point. But the other, FAR more important part was that Marine Corps spectators are phenomenal. And this year – yesterday – they were even better.

I had a smile on my face nearly the entire time, thanks in part to signs like “You run better than Metro!” and, at Hains Point, “No sweat! It’s just the tip!” and also thanks to the Cheer Squad, consisting of Mama, Daddy (thank you both for coming down!), BNF, Vandy, and Nicstress.

BNF even managed to snap this photo as I ran by around mile 17.

Photo Credit: BNF

See that smile? I was having an amazing time. And I was feeling far better than I ever thought possible after running 17 miles.

That, plus seeing the Cheer Squad again at mile 20ish (sorry I missed your high five, Nicstress!), was enough to keep me motivated over the bridge, through Crystal City, and up to mile 25.

There I saw a sign that said “Accio finish line!” (a Harry Potter reference that thrilled me) and was able to push it just a little harder to meet BNF at 25.5. He finished the race with me, even doing the Iwo Jima hill again (even though he’d already done it once earlier in the 10K), pushing me the entire way.

And I’m so glad he did because now I have a brand new, shiny PR of 4:29:09! I took 5 minutes off my Chicago time, proving that temperature can make far more of a difference than elevation.

I might be shuffling today, and my knees are absolutely not happy with me, but it is so very worth it.

Everything about the race was amazing – especially the spectators. Truly, Chicago has nothing on you.

In three more weeks we’ll see how Philly stacks up. Two down, one to go!

Photo Credit: BNF

 *It’s a whole other debate about when you can actually say that you’re from DC. But for the purposes of this conversation, I felt it appropriate.

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But life is full of surprises.

Yesterday, my closet revolted. Maybe it was angry from all the recent purging. Maybe it was offended by my fashion sense. It’s hard to tell.

I had opted for a black pencil skirt that morning. Classic choice, right? I pulled it on, fastened the hook and eye without issue, and proceeded to zip up.

But the zipper went on strike about three inches shy of the top of the skirt.

At first, I was optimistic. I’d hit snags before. I zipped down and up, trying to catch the snag unawares and break on through.

Then the nasty little thing threw me a curve ball. All of a sudden, the zipper wasn’t moving anywhere. It was camped out in no man’s land (where it remains today), still at that same three-inches-shy mark.

And so I was stuck. With very minimal wiggle room. And, naturally, I was running late. Because these sorts of things never happen when you have loads of time on your hands.

I made one last ditch effort to yank the zipper up and down, hoping to get at least another inch of space so that I could pull the skirt off. And the zipper responded by attacking me.

Talk about not fighting fair.

The way I figured, I had a few options:

  1. Safety pin the top three inches and go about my day.
  2. Wake up BNF and ask for his help in ripping the zipper down.
  3. Take the skirt off over my head.

Now you can see where the post title comes from.

I had tried sliding the skirt off the same way I put it on. But the combination of it being zipped most of the way up and my ample butt made that impossible. So over the head seemed the best course of action. Except for that little obstacle known as boobs.

I don’t want to admit how long it took me to get out of that skirt. Suffice it to say that it was a lot longer than it took to get in it. There was a lot of wriggling, a lot of grunting, probably a pulled muscle or two, and way more cursing than I’m usually prone to before 8am.

In the end? I really think the skirt won.

The zipper is still holding strong in no man’s land; it left my finger with a boo-boo; and the only “wounds” it has are some little white streaks.

I really hope it doesn’t inspire the rest of my closet.

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