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Archive for the ‘My Exciting Life’ Category

Someday, Scott and I will tell our children about the journey we took when we bought our first home. Knowing Scott, who loves a good reminiscence, we will tell them this story over and over again. We weren’t sure what to expect on that fateful October day when we started our search.

This was how I felt when I got to the car:

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If I had the time, the energy, a rhyming dictionary, and a firm grasp of iambic pentameter, I would write a sonnet to my Kindle.

That said, every time I slip the nimble little e-reader out of its case and curl up with it in bed, I feel…well…it’s like I’m cheating on my books. I look up at the shelves and I see them, gathering dust, no new additions for months and I sense…judgement. Through the broken spines and dog-eared pages I hear the voices of my fellow bibliophiles, like Becca, who, upon hearing I had purchased said Kindle refused to IM with me for at least 20 minutes. (Incidentally, she recently confessed that *gasp* now she wishes she had one too.)

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There is a man standing behind me. And I’m pretty sure he wants me to die.

“You can either jump, or I can push you,” he says. His head is round and hairless, connected to his shoulders by a thick slab of a nearly nonexistent neck. He looks not unlike the bulldog tattooed on his bicep. Swirling script beneath the image weaves a single word: Spike. I don’t know if it’s my tormentor’s name or if it honors a beloved pet. Judging by this man’s studded collar and sleeveless T-shirt, I’m pretty he’s self-representing on this particular piece of body art.

It figures that I would ushered through the doors of death at the hands of a man named Spike.

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Things I have accomplished since I finished grad school.

1. Cleaned the entire apartment — even that space between the oven and the counter-top and underneath the microwave.

2. Organized my closet.

3. Experimented with three new recipes.

4. Convinced Scott to let me buy a bread machine.

5. Baked three loaves of bread.

6. Gone to the gym (making up for bread consumption)

7. Reversed the effects of an organized closet.

8. Planned a trip to Hong Kong.

9. Caught up on my periodicals — except that early-June issue of New York Magazine announcing the kick-off to summer. That just made me sad, seeing as somehow I missed summer this year.

10. Slept.

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Two days a week for two years I ate frozen burritos at my desk for dinner.

I spent Sunday afternoons and many  weeknights with my nose buried in a book, vision blurred from too many hours of staring at a computer screen.

I typed approximately 1,438,893,201 words about scientific rhetoric, the publishing environment, marketing plans, budgets.

I spent approximately 1,294,398,312 minutes procrastinating.

On Tuesday, I proofread my final paper and hit send.

I’m at the end of a big game, and I’m running through that tunnel. I totally deserve a trip to Disneyland.

Totally.

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My three-year-old nephew stayed with us this past weekend. We managed to send him home no worse for the wear. He had all ten fingers and all ten toes. We successfully got him to sleep at night. We only had one moment of panic that involved a diaper, a wet bed, and a stuffed elephant left out to dry on the patio.

We took him to McDonald’s and the park. We ushered him to the library and asked him to pick out what books he wanted to read before bedtime. We showed him how to skip stones in the river. We wore him out at Philadelphia’s Please Touch Museum (all the photos we took there are a blur — he didn’t stop moving for 3 hours). We took him to Target (he likes the red circles, kudos to Target’s branding). We were invited by a firefighter in our neighborhood to come into the station and look at the trucks. We laughed as he tipped over at the weight of the helmet on his head.

We rode the train, and as it pulled up his eyes grew wide. He looked out the window and exclaimed, “Look, there’s houses! Look, a bird! Look at the park!” We waved goodbye after we got off at the station. I soaked in his unfiltered joy.

On Monday, when I boarded the train for the 33-minute ride to work, I counted the cars like I always do. A four-car Monday is a bad sign, it makes me anxious and a little superstitious. A five-car Monday is a good sign, it means I’m more likely to get a window seat. An all-by-myself-seat Monday means an awesome week is ahead.

As I stepped on board (a five-car Monday!), I still had a little three-year-old’s voice in the back of my head. “Look, a conductor! Look at his hat! Look, a window seat!”

I watched the world pass by, the familiar stops and houses just waking for the day, “Look, a car!” I listened to music and rested my head against the back of the seat. We pulled up to the last station and nobody sat down next to me (look, an all-by-myself seat!). I didn’t worry about the workday ahead, or deadlines or school. I didn’t think about much of anything at all, except the unusually cool August morning, the blue skies, the fox into a bush as the train approached.

What I learned from a three-year-old: Happiness is Riding the Train.

(Until someone who bathed in cologne sits down next to you.)

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There is a point where we must let go. We must say goodbye. We must accept loss.

We must understand that duct taping shoes is not a suitable alternative to replacing them completely. And the odor isn’t fantastic either. About six months into our relationship, I finally convinced Scott that it was time to bid adieu to his tried and true sneakers (which he claimed to have owned for several years more than is culturally acceptable). They weren’t duct-tape ready yet, but they were close.

And so it came to be that, on a cold January’s eve, we found ourselves shoe shopping at Nordstrom Rack.

And it was good. And I knew it would be good for a little while.

Until it wasn’t.

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