Random Saturdays – Lake Trip

Every year, Ben goes with his frat brothers to the crappiest lake around here.  They find the crappiest cabin at that lake, pile in the cabin, and pretend to be in college again, without the school stuff.  As my dear husband puts it, “We chose the location for its crappiness because we’re less likely to be around other people, which means we’re less likely to bother other people, which means we don’t have to deal with complaints from other people.”  Lest you think I’m exaggerating, Ben was one of two guys to take a shower at the cabins last year, and he ended up soaked in stagnant dead fish water…straight from the lake.  He is going to skip the shower this year, not willing to risk staph or e.coli this time.

The wives, girlfriends, and girl friends of the guys are mostly friends with each other.  We had mentioned doing our own version of the lake trip before, but things happened.  This year, we finally got around to planning our Ladies Lake Trip.  Well, a few of us did anyway.  It’s funny;  no matter how inclusive you think you’re being, there are always people that you always realize at the last minute that you never invited people that you probably should have invited.  At any rate, five of us are headed to a Groupon Retreat a few hours away for the weekend.  Our place is a little nicer than the guys’ place.  Ours has a full kitchen, wi-fi, and clean water.  We can go swimming, play volleyball, go hiking, feed deer, do a wine tasting, go shopping, dine at fancy restaurants, dine at comfy restaurants, and take showers without getting MRSA.

Normally, I’m all about planning this stuff out waaaaay in advance and making a detailed itinerary.  I don’t necessary have to follow the plan, but I do have to have the plan so that I don’t feel like the world will fall apart.  This time, I was working at night, subbing in the day, sending out my resume, going on interviews, going to football games in the Sahara Desert, sick, jacked up from steroids from being sick, planning birthday parties, planning family holidays, having long conversations with my doctor and the insurance company, and trying not to fall asleep on the toilet.  So, it wasn’t until three days before the trip that I was able to really look into any substantial plans at all.  Up to that point, I mostly just threw my credit card at people and told my Ladies that we would math it out later.

There’s still SO MUCH stuff that I need to do around the house.  I haven’t even put up a single Halloween decoration yet and Halloween is my mo fo favorite holiday of all the holidays in all the world.  Maybe that’s why I’ve spent so much time staring at the same Halloween decorations when I pick up various meds at the pharmacy.  Either way, my brain has shut off already.  My planning, analytical, and guilt-ridden brain has placed an Out To Lunch sign on my cumbersome To Do List.  Everytime I think of all of my responsibilities, my brain just blithers out and dies.  Doing work is hard because I get frustrated and then the four brain cells that were left behind in case of emergencies just yell things like, “This is the type of junk that forced me on a Groupon Retreat!” or “No, no, no, pbblt!”

A single day of no obligations, no responsibilities, and Girl Time.  This is what I need.  I don’t even want to go because I’m so exhausted.  When I think about it, I just want to pass out when I log off work and then sleep until I have to log back into work again.  However, my brain and soul are talking and conspiring for more quality healing time than just a marathon sleeping session.  When I think about packing and driving and walking and talking, I get tired.  Thankfully, that part of my brain is mostly too tired to think about how tired it is.  That’s what allowed those other four brain cells to take care of everything without worrying about math or exhaustion or responsibilities so that I might actually enjoy myself with my girls.  I’m grateful that when my brain shuts down, it’s sometimes for my own frippin’ benefit.  The fact that my friends are super cool really awesomer than everyone else ain’t too shabby either.


Random Saturdays — Heather’s Visit 2013

RQ Babe, Heather, came to visit me last week.  Wednesday night, we went to Studio Movie Grill to see Star Trek:  Into Darkness (again).  We wanted to see it less because of our nerd love for Star Trek (which exists) and more for our hormonal devotion to all the hot dudes in the movie.  I started referring to it as, “Hot Trek:  Into My Pants” and tweeted that we were at SMG watching “Hot Trek” just before we settled in for eye candy and pizza.

The next day, we decided to take advantage of free air conditioning by going to NorthPark Mall and checking out the end of season clearance sales.  The only part of “end of season clearance sales” I really care about is “clearance”.  By the end of Thursday, Heather had a new wardrobe at a great price and I had overpriced candy and discounted underwear.

That night, we met Amanda and Vi for dinner at Scalini’s.  The first question Vi asked me when she sat down was, “Did you watch porn last night?”  That made me wonder if my dad saw my tweet (or the automatic repost to Facebook) with my renaming of Star Trek.  So, I had wine.

We hadn’t seen Vi since the last time Heather visited me, two years ago, even though Vi only lives about 15 minutes away from me.  So,  there was plenty of catching up to do all around.  Vi was stressed out by her current advanced degree studies in genetics, and we encouraged her to switch to something she feels more suited to do.  Vi started asking Amanda about how her schooling is going, and Amanda said that she’s finally settled on a degree on sociology.

Vi — What do you want to do with that degree?
Amanda — Get into social work.
Vi — So is it just because you really wanna be a social worker or…?
Amanda — That and I want to make more money.
The Table — *crickets chirping*
Amanda — You can make money in social work once you get into management.  Like, I wanna eventually make, you know, $45 thousand.

Vi holding up my head because my neck collapsed under the weight of my big Irish head

Vi holding up my head because my neck collapsed under the weight of my big Irish head

The next day, Amanda and I took Heather to Legal Grounds before checking out Froggie’s and Betty Lou.  I don’t mind paying extra at small shops because I like to support small businesses and the local economy, but some things cost even less at these places than they do at giant chain stores.  Afterwards, we headed to the Perot Museum for a day of science and fun.  We ran into Gabriel, who was leaving work as we were arriving.  Amanda and I made dirty jokes about the dinosaur fossils, which is our favorite part of the museum.  After the museum, we walked across the street to El Fenix, which was probably the busiest I’ve ever seen it.  This gave us plenty of time to chat.

I told them about talking to a coworker before I left work on Wednesday to pick up Heather.  He was trying to explain something to me and asked, “Do you have something to draw on?”  I said, “Where’s your mini-whiteboard?!  Why do I spend dollar on you if you’re not even going to use the things I give you?”  This set off a series of jokes about “spend dollar” and Amanda’s $45 thousand.

Amanda told us about the day before she left her ex-boyfriend.  She cleaned so hard that a pimple on her head burst.  She put toilet paper on it in the style of men who cut themselves shaving, then forgot about it being there when she got mad at the other people in the house for being lazy slobs, toilet paper flapping away.  I talked about the time I walked to the store, bought a can of baked beans, walked home, and pulled a pan from the sink full of dirty dishes (thanks to others in the house even though we had just moved in that day.)  I washed the pan, poured in my beans, and cried into them as I listened to my ex-boyfriend talk and laugh heartily with his sister in the other room, even though he hadn’t spoken to me in two weeks.  I didn’t realize that he had already broken up with me for the second time in two weeks without telling me (he didn’t tell me the first time either.)  Amanda and I laughed so hard that we could barely breathe as we told our stories of woe.

Amanda serenading Heather at Scalini's

Amanda serenading Heather at Scalini’s

We also talked about how we liked Heather’s hair.
Me — Yeah, I always tell Heather that I like her highlights.  I usually think highlights look stupid, like they’re a mistake, but her highlights are always so pretty.
Amanda — I’ve been thinking about getting highlights.

Heather’s step-dad gave her money to take us out to dinner, and when Heather went to the bathroom, I tried to explain Heather’s family dynamic to Amanda.
Me — So, her real dad is in prison.  I mean, he’s not in prison.
Amanda — Then who’s in prison?
Me — Nobody

We wiped our tears of laughter away, paid our bill, and Amanda headed home as Heather and I walked to the American Airlines Center to see the New Kids.  Next week, I’ll tell you how the concert began with a broken heart and knee, but ended with giddy joy.