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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Random Thoughts From a Wedding

I am sitting on the floor outside of the hotel bathroom, slowly going deaf from the drone of the bathroom fan which turns on automatically when you flip the light switch. The boys are out at the bachelor's party.

We are on the Cape and it's gorgeous. For the last two days, it rained this cold, unrelenting downpour. And then, this afternoon, the skies cleared. Every time we're up in New England, Josh says, "I could live in New England." And I reply, "I could move here too." I always thought I would live in Massachusetts permanently after grad school. And then everything changed and I moved back to D.C. and now it feels too late to move back here. Like I'd be trying to get back on a road that I don't know very well after taking a bunch of other turns along the way.

I am on the lookout for a windup lobster and a crab-claw harmonica. The desire to own a windup lobster comes from a Max and Ruby episode. The crab-claw harmonica is a running joke with an old friend that I haven't seen in many years but could send her without introduction and it would make her day. Counting from the first crab-claw harmonica, I have now spent more years of my life searching for another harmonica than I have not searching.

Children are mentioned in this section:
I am sharing a bed with the ChickieNob. Last night, I got into bed with her at 7 p.m. and then crawled out after she fell asleep. When I got back into bed later that night, I was so overwhelmed watching her sleep because it was like watching a three-year-old version of myself. It was such a strange sensation--so bittersweet on a weekend when I'm already emotional. It was like revisiting myself--as if I had slipped into a time machine and returned to 1977. To warn myself about something? Simply for a visit?

One of my favourite photographs from childhood is a picture with my sister and we are sleeping together in a hotel bed. You can't see it in the photo, but I know that as I was sleeping, I was clutching this tiny china panda bear my father gave me and I know that I lost it in that hotel room. We looked so sweet together, asleep with our heads together. I wonder how my parents photographed us without waking us. I really want to take a photograph of the twins right now.

I love hearing wedding stories. The ones that are crazy, with vomit-covered dresses or ice storms or bomb threats. But also, the ones that are beautiful. I am a sucker for a good story.

So I leave you with this one: which is not wedding related, but is tied to location. I once dated a boy from the Cape. We spent some time out here and would take the ferry to Martha's Vineyard. I called him Judy Dench which drove him crazy. I told him the name was randomly chosen but it actually had great meaning to me. One day, we were standing in a line at Starbucks and he said, "it really bothers me when you call me Judy." And I responded, "I could call you Athina instead."

One day, he had to go away for a week and I got a temporary tattoo drawn on my upper arm--a skull with a dagger surrounded by roses and a giant banner proclaiming "Athina" across it. I told him over the phone that I got a tattoo and I covered it with a gauze pad before he came home, telling him it looked a bit infected.

We went to a black tie event the next week and I had gotten the tattoo drawn so that it would be barely visible from where my capped sleeve ended. At first he couldn't see it, but then the sleeve pushed up at some point and he could just make out the bottom. He went completely pale when I lifted it the rest of the way and said, "I got it for you--do you love it?"

It didn't come off for over a month.

I think it was the most fun we ever had in that relationship.


Denise said...

Your comment about revisiting yourself in 1977 just reminded me of that book The Time Traveler's Wife where he travels back in time and teaches his younger self how to pick pockets for survival.

That book made me think for weeks.

Lori said...

Sleep photos are so thought-provoking. You see what's not there as much as you see what is there.

Antigone said...

Digging through a disorganized box of photos at my parents house I found one of me at about age 12. I couldn't remember having the picture taken or who the other girls in the photo were. It was my mother, not me.

Bea said...

I love your story. You're so wicked!

Glad you had a good time on the Cape.


Bea said...

And since you asked for wedding stories...

One of the things I remember from ours is turning up to the church respectably late (15 mins?) and all these people had turned up just for the ceremony and were standing outside. I got out of the car and we had some general greetings and then things kind of stalled. Eventually someone said, "What are you waiting for?"

"I'm waiting for everyone to go inside and sit down," I replied.

"But we can't. There's no room inside."

Holy crap! As I started down the aisle, they all spread out and watched through the church windows. Wasn't a small church, either!


Jen said...

I love the stories! And I hope you find a windup lobster and crab claw harmonica.

Kim said...

*pregnancy mentioned*
Love the tattoo story! I have a similar story. We were at a wedding for one of dh's friends who is a know practical joker. I was about 8 months pg. They had one of those photo booths at the reception. I took a permanent marker and wrote Doug Jr. (the groom's name) on my belly. I went into the photo booth and stood on the bench so as to not show my face. We put the strip of pictures next to the groom's plate. It was so funny to see him find the pictures and then her look over his shoulder! They were laughing so hard! There were four pg women there and we all denied it at first. The best part was that the marker did not come off all the way in time for my dr. appt a few days later! But my OB had a good laugh! Love the wind up lobster on Max and Ruby! Okay, now you will have me looking for a crab claw harmonica! The more the merrier!

Dianne/Flutter said...

I love the Cape, especially off season. I could visit :). My fantasy to have you near by.

It must be overwhelming to have your daughter remind you of yourself. Hmm...but a great joy too?

lori said...

you have a wicked sense of humor! :-)

i, too, am fascinated by my sleeping child. i could watch her for hours. i take as many sleeping pics as i can; i'm chronicling her seemingly strange sleeping habits (sleeping on the floor or crosswise in her bed or piled on top of a pile of her stuffed animals and books or inside her play tent ontop of more toys with her head hanging out the opening of the tent or up against her door with her fingers sticking out from under the door (the list is endless)). she sleeps just like my DH (deeply and in random positions) but wakes like me (slow and GROUCHY).

Piccinigirl said...

I love your stories! You wicked girl!

I take lots of pictures of the twins when they are sleeping, seems to me they are so peaceful then, why not preserve it, if not for them, then for me.


Karen said...

I feel the same way about New England, particularly the Cape. I miss it.

Smiling said...

Great post- on the wind up toy front... I can't promise it is still there or about its lobster offerings, but the best store for wind up toys I know of was in Harvard Square.

I think its on Brattle Street..

My finds there included a flipping gorilla, a turtle that swimg in your tub, airplanes that spin, and a crazy jumping rabbit.

Ah how I miss New England - great place and reminds me of when we were just thinking that we *might* have inferlity on the horizon.