“Please don’t let it be that guy at the bar.” That was the first thing I thought as I walked into Etrusco at 7:59 pm on Friday, February 11, 2005 to meet “Superbowl Boy”.

“Please don’t let it be that guy at the bar. That canNOT be Superbowl Boy!”

His moniker stuck when he asked  me out three weeks in advance of our first date because he had to travel to the Superbowl for work. I later found out I was “5-10 girl,” so named for my height. But back to the guy at the bar — mid-40s, greasy, alone. I was sure he was my date given my recent streak of bad luck.

Imagining the awkward dinner I was about to have, I was interrupted by the host: “Do you have a reservation?”

“Uum, yes. Well, no. I mean I’m meeting someone who made a reservation.”

“Last name?”

“Uum, I have no idea.” …queue the crickets…

Who was I? Meeting someone for dinner in a restaurant that I’d never been to and I didn’t even know his last name?

Axe-murdering, order of one, coming right up.

“Okay, *whomever* you’re meeting isn’t here yet. Would you like to sit at the bar?”  Huge sigh of relief no one with a reservation was waiting to meet me.

Awkward pause as I figured out how to hang out at the tiny four-stooled bar without talking to Greasy McGreaser-pants. …hmmm…

Just then the door opened. My heart and stomach were in my throat, one big ball of nerves.

I knew it was him. Tall, dark, handsome, friendly.

“Meredith?” he asked.

“Yes, hi, nice to meet you,” I said with my hand extended.

He went in for the hug……perfection.

you are my sunshine

my only sunshine

you make me happy

when skies are gray

you’ll never know dear

how much i love you

Happy Birthday, Abigail!

love you to the moon and back,

Aunt Meredith

 

i cannot give up on myself.

i make sure the husband’s clothes are clean, his dry cleaning is done, yet i leave my clothes in unfolded heaps, searching for clean socks each morning, running down to the dryer in a towel looking for clean underwear.

i buy my niece elaborate gifts of new clothes, handmade quilts, all natural shampoos and bath soap, yet I talk myself out of investing in my wardrobe and only buy ill-fitting pieces on final sale.

i make sure my cats are fed and supplied with fresh water each morning, but i run off to work without healthy, satisfying food for the day. i manage their intake but allow mine to go unchecked.

i sit at my desk to complete an urgent task for a co-worker while i wait to take a much needed bathroom or water break, putting their urgent needs before my own.

i cannot give up on myself.  i give of myself to everyone but me.  i deserve my attention.  i cannot give up on making myself happy.

In the act of merging both of our worldly possessions, furnishing two apartments together with very different layouts, expanding to a single family home, getting married (and thus getting way too many gifts), and starting a number of renovations on said home, our stuff has exploded.  It is not contained in closets or overpriced plastic bins from The Container Store.  It spills out onto the kitchen table, the living room floor, the office desks, everywhere.  Visual clutter and mess stress me out to the point that I just want to throw everything away.  Slowly but surely, I’m weeding through the clutter.  Selling books, donating clothes, throwing away unidentifiable screws, hooks, and latches that belonged to a piece of furniture or electronic gadget we used at one point that surely no longer functions without these pieces.

Amongst the clutter are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of printed pictures.  Someday we’ll digitize our photo collection, old and new, but until then they get piled up and neatly stored in Rubbermaid.  There are college pictures, high school pictures, study abroad pictures, pictures from last Christmas, pictures from when we started dating; all mixed in together.  Behind a picture of me with an ex-boyfriend is a picture of Kevin with an ex-girlfriend.  Pieces of our lives that at one point were integral to everyday activity, like the gadget screws, that have now become distant memories, not required for any sort of function other than ‘remember when’ memories.

I look around and wonder what items I’ll be cleaning out of storage closets in ten years.  Looking back to these days and laughing at my outfit or haircut in a photo. What memories will we carry close to the vest from these first days of our marriage?  What will we forget about until we unearth it in the future?

Exercise 13 times.

Donate clothes/bags/kitchen stuff to Goodwill.

Finish drywall in bathroom and hallway.

Cut my hair.

Post 6 times (this doesn’t count).

I hope it’s merry and bright. And full of smiles and hugs.