After saving our pennies for many months, Em and I made the plunge from a college-grad aesthetic to full-on adult by getting a new couch. We had a very nice futon from Em's apartment (with a memory foam mattress, mmkay) and it was fairing well, helping us out with guests and not acting as too much of an eyesore. When my parents moved across the country, I was generously given one of the couches from the family room (that's an old apartment) in my childhood home. The couch was huge...the kind where even adults could dangle their feet from the edge. But when we moved downtown the first time, it seemed impossible to take it with us. So we sold it to some pretty awesome gamer dudes who planned to use it as their second couch in the Gaming Room. I missed it, though, and so we set out on a quest to find something remotely close to it, within our price range and not too ugly. After wandering around IKEA one day, we stumbled upon the HOVÅS, one of their newer and deeper couches, and decided that we needed the brown corduroy version. The picture doesn't really do this thing justice. It's incredibly comfortable, lower to the ground (so our crotchety pug can jump onto it without assistance; he may only be a year old, but he already has hip dysplasia...yay!), and converts easily into something resembling a twin bed. We got the big ottoman too, which turns it into an impossibly large chaise lounge. Is it the prettiest couch? No, probably not. But the fact that we agreed so quickly on something like this for [one of the] first time[s] in our four year relationship was a good sign.*
We indulged ourselves with some shopping at Whole Foods on Friday night because we needed to grocery shop and there was nothing easily-acquirable that we wanted. Suburbia Fail. I wound up picking up a half-flat of reasonably priced strawberries from California and decided to clean 'em up and freeze them for smoothies (or anything else in which I would like to use frozen strawberries). I don't know who I'm trying to kid, I don't think I've ever made a smoothie. But I will. At least once. With these. Because they're damn tasty.
Saturday I went out to dinner with a group of friends I've had since high school. We were all on the newspaper together...The Purple Tide...and we decided last year that we'd try to get together now and then to have some food, laugh and embarrass each other righteously. Last year we met downtown, so this year we decided on a restaurant in the suburbs. It's absolutely crazy to me how much and how little we've each changed over the past 13-14 years. Our conversations are smart and often inappropriate, each pause in the conversation completely cloaked in laughter, and in the end we wind up really enjoying the time with each other and taking some incredibly unflattering pictures. I feel lucky that I have this group of people who remember me then and who accept and respect me now. I didn't attend my high school reunion, and I probably won't ever attend one unless I can count on these folks to join me. We spent our junior and senior years holed up with each other in a small newspaper room, with a psychotic advisor and more piss and vinegar than high schoolers should probably have...but we made it out alive and friends. It's kind of magical.
Sunday we trekked up to Owings Mills, Mrrrland to attend my goddaughter's end-of-year Children's Chorus of Maryland performance. I did most everything a good godmom should do. I brought flowers, but I forgot my camera. Last Fall, when she learned that she was accepted into the chorus, my brother (who is an actor/singer/dancer/performer/spastic clown/greatest brother ever) e-mailed her directly and congratulated her on the opportunity. At the time, Ruby was non-plussed about the possibility of joining the choir and, in her own seven-year old tone, replied to my brother with her general feelings on the matter. It turned into a hilarious series of e-mails between the adults, and a mildly harsh lesson to Ruby about being gracious even in the face of complete and utter disinterest. She stuck with it though, and marched onto the stage yesterday afternoon wearing the cutest dress ever looking strong and poised. I was sandwiched between Em and Angela in the audience, who promptly looked at me when Ruby walked on stage because I STARTED CRYING. Like any good godmom, I got all verklempt when she marched out there, serious and determined. I was so proud, so amazed, MY LITTLE GIRL OMG SHE'S GROWING UP. We celebrated her performance afterwards by eating bar-b-qued delights and enjoying tasty root beer floats, giggling about silly things.
On the ride home, I had a hard conversation with my mom about my delayed acknowledgment of her birthday. She scolded me in only a way a mom can, and I took it with as much patience and understanding as I could muster. I tweeted last night about it, just because the concept of being reborn fascinates me and I wanted make sure y'all were protected:
In the event you are born into your next life with my mother as your mother, do NOT ever forget to send a birthday card. Just a warning.It was a reminder to us all that not only did our parents walk barefoot, uphill, naked, in subzero temperatures, with no shoes or food to school everyday, but even they managed to use their slabs of rock and chisels to carve out a heartfelt sentiment to their parents on their birthdays in a timely fashion. If I was in Phoenix right now, I would totally be grounded.
In a shocking turn of events, though, after sobbing my eyes out to her, after the birthday card lecture, about work and the other injustices of the world, she wrote me an e-mail this morning and admitted that she felt bad about being a little too hard on me. The subject of the e-mail was "Smile". So I'm trying to, sometimes easily, because she's the mom, that's why.
Photo: Custom Little House listing by thelittlereddoor - $16
* Thanks to my Bucko, Em is now hooked on letterpress posters and I can slowly see our living space turning from IKEA wasteland into personalized, warm and inspired. Yesssss!