The Daily News

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Latest Post on BlogHer: Parenting after Infertility.

My Status: Fed Josh's almonds to the squirrels. They needed them very badly.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thank You

Thank you for all of the anniversary well-wishes. It was a great weekend. On Saturday night, my parents came and whisked away the ChickieNob and Wolvog for 24 hours of all-out toddler pampering. Josh and I drove down to scary, scary Virginia (hi, Sunny!) to dine in Alexandria. We stopped by our friend's house to play with their daughter who was winding down from her own strenuous toddler day with a little Sesame Street. My back was to the television when I heard the familiar tune "Everybody Eats" start playing. Do you remember it being revolting close-ups of people stuffing food into their mouth? It seriously turned me off to the idea of dinner.

Until we got to Bilbo Baggins. If you live in Washington, or if you are visiting D.C. any time soon, you should go down into scary, scary Virginia and go to Bilbo Baggins. And ask that you be seated in Jim's section because he made our night. We had only been there once before and it was sort of a spur-of-the-moment, pulled-it-out-of-my-arse suggestion: remember that little place we went to 6 years ago...the one that was named after the Lord of the Rings or something like that? Let's drive an hour and go there.

Jim is the greatest waiter of all time. I'm not just saying that because I'm ovulating and weepy and this is my final cycle before our December appointment back at the fertility clinic and that makes me a bit effusive. First and foremost, he steered us towards the most delicious butternut squash soup in the world--and I am not a fan of any type of gourd. Secondly, without even knowing that it was our anniversary or any type of special night, he brought us a second dessert. And it seemed so fitting--first dessert, second dessert (is anyone here with me with the whole second breakfast line from Fellowship of the Ring?). And he was a lot of fun, swinging by our table to talk with us towards the end of the night when all the other customers cleared out. Thank you, Jim, you made our night., I mean, Josh made my night. You made dinner extra special.

Alexandria had already put up sparkle lights and the main street looked magical. It was the perfect night to be outside.

I once posted a picture of myself on the blog--I think it was around the time of the first movie. Though I was half-constructed in Microsoft Paint. Thank you for the compliments on the wedding picture. It certainly boosted my ego. But I feel, in fairness, like I should post a normal picture too--one where my hair hasn't be straightened for an hour or where I'm not wearing globs of makeup. Normal, everyday Mel. Which means Mel after twenty pounds have been added due to fertility treatments. And a few more lines. And some grey since I'm not sure which route I want to take with hair dyeing. And crazy, messy curls (as Leah, who has met me, pointed out in her comment).

I know my eyes are closed in the top picture, but it's probably the most accurate. My eyes are often squinting. I don't know. My hair is often straight (though never as nicely as Anne did for my wedding) and there are times where I have makeup on my face. But these are a tad more accurate if you want to see what I really look like.

(little voice: I hope everyone doesn't take back the compliments. Perhaps I should only post wedding photos from now on).

After I posted the photo, I wondered if I had ruined my voice somehow. You know how you have an idea of how someone looks as you're reading their blog and then you meet them and it doesn't match up? It has never changed a voice for me, but I could see how it could. Maybe you've always pictured me as a petite blond regardless of any description I've posted. Or maybe in your mind's eye, I'm a six-foot-tall Asian basketball player. Maybe you thought I'd have a much cooler haircut or facial piercings or a tiny tattoo of a piece of food right next to the side of my mouth. Maybe I'm nothing like you pictured me for the past year and a half. And that worries me a bit, that the Melissa in your head has been changed irrevocably because I posted a picture.

It's sort of like when I was reading Harry Potter and Hermione looked one way inside my head and then little Emma Watson came along and ruined that vision for me. Now, when I read the book, I only picture Emma Watson instead of my own buck-toothed, frizzy-haired Hermione.

I hope I still sound the same. Even if I don't look as you imagined.


chicklet said...

Ok, soooo much to say!

First, the Bilbo Baggins thing would make my husband crazy. We may have to go there to feed the Lord of the Rings dork that is my husband.

Next, the photos I love:-) You're much braver than I, but I think you're dead on with it changing the voice - but not in a bad way. Hopefully you see this as a compliment, because I do, but I "read" you as so much older because you write so maturely with such great vocabulary. You're also to me, the mothership for infertility, so a mother figure. Yet your pics make you so young and cool it just freaks me right out - you're too young to be a mother! All said in a very good way:-)

Happy belated anniversary.

Fertilize Me said...

Can it be written any better than chicklet ... Happy Belated Anniversary. I am honored to have a picture of the You behind the blog - very striking

~r said...

I'm so behind - but I had to comment.. you don't look at all like I pictured you, but that doesn't change your voice to me, it just rounds out the picture and makes it more accurate.

I love that you have the self-confidence to post a pic of the real you here.. (although if I looked as good as you do un-maked-up'd, I might have that same self-confidence, hehe)

.. and finally, I'll have to check out Bilbo Baggins if I make it up there again any time soon. Surely 4 hours is not too far for a good dinner .. ? ;o)

Lori said...

Actually, you look a LOT like I pictured you. It was a post a month or so back about your ethnic look.

Do you wear pony tails, like in your MS Paint portrait?

You. Are. Beautiful. And your kind heart and wit show through, too.

Carole said...

The restaurant sounds glad that you guys had a great time.

I love it when I can put a picture with the voice. You are fantastically beautiful!

Starfish said...

Well, if I can be honest, you are so much prettier than I had in my head!! Only because I was thinking that paint sketch with the bows was supposed to be you. You are gorgeous girl! If it changes your voice, it's only an improvement!

Leah said...

I'm with you 100% on so many things in this post...

I also love, love, love Bilbo Baggins. Despite the fact I had the WORST date of my entire life happen there, it still ranks up there as one of my very favorite places -- both for the food and the atmosphere.

I too pictured Hermoine as looking completely different and now cannot see anyone except Emma when I read the books. I prefer the Hermoine that I originally conjured up in my imagination, but I've lost sight of her now. :-(

I love that you posted some "everday" pictures of yourself. As a fellow curly-haired person, I assume you know that my comment was intended to be infused with a heavy dose of awe at the effort you must have gone through to get your hair looking so amazing and sleek for your wedding.

As I think I told you the first time I met you, you looked different than I was picturing. Since it's no secret that I consider your blog the center of the IF universe, I guess I pictured you more in flowing robes with long white hair or something. :-) Seriously, I think I didn't expect you to look so totally normal. With such a big, bright, welcoming smile! However, every time I've been with you since then, you look EXACTLY like I think you are supposed to look. Like Mel. That's a totally stupid, lame explanation so I guess I'm more tired than I thought.

I hope your Mom agrees to babysit so that I see you at the cookie exchange in a couple weeks!

Anonymous said...

Happy belated anniversary! I hope it was a most wonderful day.

Courtney said...

Great pictures and happy belated anniversary! I hope you had a wonderful adults-only night with your hubby. :)

And for the record, the pictures don't ruin the voice at all. The voice reflects the heart and that is what matters most!

PCOSMama said...

I agree with everyone! I also pictured you older, because you seem so mature, like chicklet said. Not that younger people can't be mature, but I just pictured you older than you appear.

The movies also ruined my image of Hermione. She's not supposed to be beautiful!

I love that you are so confident that you wear your curly hair down. I'm constantly trying to restrain mine in some way or the other. On very special occasions (ie my wedding) I will go all out and encourage the curl. Then again, my curly hair doesn't look as nice as yours unrestrained!

I love having a face to go with the voice. Thanks for sharing!

And happy belated anniversary!

Vee said...

Happy belated Anniversary.

You have a gorgeous smile and wonderful hair. Nice to put a face to a blog ;)

Rebecca said...

You're absolutely gorgeous! I love your hair, very jealous of beautiful curls like that :)

Samantha said...

Your curls are beautiful! My SIL has curls like that, and I've always been a bit jealous.

Secondly, you look much as I had imagined you, and I love getting a picture to go along with the words.

Journeywoman said...

I'm glad you had a lovely anniversary.

Your voice is just the same as ever. It's just prettier!

Julia said...

Happy belated anniversary. Glad it went so well. Second desert... yum!

Very nice pics. I saw them first, before the wedding photo, btw (was busy all weekend, and not reading blogs). I never had you for a blond, ever. Honest.

Barb said...

You're very cute. So it's cool that we got to read your musings first since they show you to be the articulate, intelligent woman you are, and cuteness has a tendency to make people expect slightly less intelligent and more bubbly. haha. And my eyes squint quite a lot when I smile. They're barely there. ;-)

T said...

Love all the photos - you look so carefree in the newest ones. And yes, the hair is goooooorgeous - love curly hair.

Happy belated anniversary, sorry you didn't win the blogger thing - I did vote for you even though I didn't post it on my blog - I haven't posted much of anything. I did just post my story, so have to go and find that post in this labyrinth!

bleu said...

You are still HOT!

I think I thought you were older, but that's about it.

p.s. I would die for your hair

josh said...

With all of these, "But she's so young!" comments I should point out that our waiter asked to see her photo ID when she ordered the rare cocktail on her 30th birthday.

That was several years ago. She's just blessed to look so young.

es said...

After reading through the comments, I see that I'm not alone in feeling that you are much younger looking than I had pictured! As others have said- I think it's because of the fact that you seem so knowledgeable and articulate in everything that you write... I had just pictured you as a wise, older looking woman.

I love the pictures and the genuine, real smile on your face. When I smile for real, my eyes get all squinty too- I don't mind it because I know that it's not a fake smile!

Elizabeth said...


Kim said...

Beautiful post! Beautiful you!

I always find it funny when someone posts a picture. I always think "I never pictured her like that" but now that I think about it I really don't picture a picture of anyone in my head until I see the real picture. Doesn't make a lick of sense, I know, but it's strange!

Happy Belated Anniversary. Glad you had a great time!

deanna said...

Thanks for the restaurant recommendation! Jake is an over-the-top LOTR fan, and would love checking that place out. Did they have any LOTR-themed entrees? Was there any further connection to the books other than just the name of the place?

And, darlin---you are as lovely now as you were at your wedding. Straight hair, curly hair---it's all you and all wonderful.

megan said...

you're just lovely, made up for your wedding or just on a regular day. yes, seeing you does change your voice a bit in my head but in a good way. thanks for sharing with us.
i'm glad you had a good anniversary. mazel tov, and many wonderful years to come!

Tracy said...

"Or maybe in your mind's eye, I'm a six-foot-tall Asian basketball player."

How did you know?

Just kidding!!! You are beautiful, and much like I pictured based on your description.

Happy anniversary!

Michell said...

You are very beautiful. I also love the crazy curly hair. I wish mine was crazy curly instead of just the odd lonely curl which drives me nuts. Oh and that restaurant sounds great.

Jess said...

Why is virginia scary, scary? I must know the answer to this. Where is it scary? I've been that way...and wasn't scared.

But then, I live with the amish.

I love the pics! Your curls are nice...I would be waaaay too lazy to ever straighten them (you CAN, really? REALLY?? I barely believe it as my own hair is PRETTY straight and often needs straightened.) and would go with them instead of against them!

Your pics didn't change your voice. But I still picture your alter ego in paint when I picture you. :)

You DO look young, chicklet is right. And take that as a compliment because I figure I'm one of the young ones, so it must be true! lol!!

Meghan said...

Love the pics. Even though I've met you, I had the same impression as you should have had a soft white light glowing down on you all the time!

Glad you had a nice night and survived VA!

jenn said...

I love, love, love the pics of you!!! I agree that you seem much younger than I havepictured you- for the same reasons of maturity of 'voice'. I love that your eyes disappear with a real smile- mine do as well & you can see the joy in your heart in these pics.

I'm glad it was a good anniversary- a great waiter does so much!

Kristen said...

I will definitely have to try out that restaurant next time I courageously drive into D.C. I really love a place with character and with great service.

And while you looked different in person than I imagined (for some reason), I must say you are much more beautiful :)


Bea said...

I must say, I always pictured you with your hair up, which is silly really, because I don't imagine you were exactly born with it up, but it does alter the mental image slightly. Also, compared to my imaginings, you look more... American somehow. I can't quite put my finger on it. And less triangular. Can't think where I got that from.


Bea said...

Oh, but you do look very attractive. The voice? Well, I'll let you know, but I daresay it'll be fine.


Baby Step said...

You are beautiful, straight hair, curly hair, make-up, no make-up. Truly beautiful! :-)

And, I make a killer butternut squash soup. Not sure if it would compare to the first-ever-butternut-squash-soup-
but I would be happy to share my recipe. :-) I make it for every Thanksgiving.

ms. c said...

Happy Anniversary (albeit a bit late.) You dinner sounded fab.
I have to say, I didn't even blink when I scolled down and saw your pics- you pretty much look EXACTLY how I thought you would. I don't know how that happened, but I guess my imagination was spot on this time!
Your voice will never change. Thank you (again!) for being you and sharing this space.

ms. c said...

Oh ya- how do you get your hair so wonderfully curly? HOW HOW HOW. Please divulge your secret.

syn70 said...

No, your voice is not ruined. You are lovely.

Artblog said...

Ohhhh, ain't you da bomb girl! XXX

nancy said...

The photos! The photos!!!

YAY!!! I've personally ~never~ seen you, so it was great to see the pictures. I think you are stunning. Yup. I said it. And I'm not lying, cause darn it, I'm just not the lying type.

And happy belated anniversary too. I did think about you over the weekend, but I never thought of sending anything to say it (see? I'm not a liar or I definitely wouldn't of said that!)

Frank N. Beans said...

In my mind's eye you always looked exactly like your microsoft paint avatar. Unfortunately for me, I actually do look like the avatar that you created for my "reporter" picture."

Beagle said...

Better late than never! I've been having trouble accessing blogs from work.

You look fantabulous!

(And now, god do I feel OLD . . . you look SO YOUNG!)

noswimmers said...

You are so beautiful! Thanks for posting pics, its so nice to have a face to go with the brilliant posts! :)

GLouise said...

Happy Anniversary!

AWesome photos! You are beautiful!!

From Here To Maternity said...

You look nothing like I imagined. You're gorgeous, and I'm jealous. Why, well just because.

Sunny said...

I have never been there! WOW a new restaurant to try in scary VA!!!

Happy Anni! You look beautiful as usual!