Monday, August 25, 2014

i promise that most weekends are more exciting

I am sitting on the couch beside Matt, and he just sighed loudly and said, “Oh man, I keep forgetting to write that letter to Cheez Its.”

I know you’re dying for more information so I will tell you that Matt prefers his Cheez Its with slightly burnt edges.  And he thinks that the powers that be over at Sunshine should know that because his new thing is contacting customer service departments.  Thanks to his customer services reviews, over the past month or so we have received a free three pack of Jockey t-shirts, a Weather Channel baseball cap, a voucher for a free box of Famous Amos, and a coupon for contact lenses.

I realize that seems like the pastime of someone several generations above us, but wait until I tell you how we spent our Friday night.

We laced up our sneakers after dinner and went power walking at the mall. 

I am not kidding.

Actually, we spent several hours at the mall and stayed until closing time, because in addition to the walking we did a LOT of window shopping and spent at least forty minutes in a store that sells brain games.

It was in the brain games store where I learned that Matt possesses the secret talent of being able to separate a chain of solid steel rings that appear to the average person to be inseparable.  He is a magician. 

Also, color me impressed because I am the girl who cannot even separate the rings on her key chain, and those are actually meant to come apart. 

Saturday was rainy, so we decided to throw caution to the wind and do our grocery shopping that afternoon as opposed to our typical Sunday evening grocery shopping routine.  We are in month one of Operation New Budget, and so before we left we planned our meals and made a list, and I’m proud to report that we stuck to that list with the exception of an irresistible bag of Tostitos, and a container of fresh cheese curds that I discovered when I opened the fridge this morning.

And then right after we unpacked the food it started to rain outside.  It got dark and windy and we had the sliding patio doors open and could hear the rain pouring down.  I thought to myself, “self, you should lie down on the couch and close your eyes and take a nap.”

And so I did.  For three glorious hours.  And when I woke up Matt was STARING at me.  “I am SO GLAD YOU ARE FINALLY AWAKE,” he said.  “These past three hours I’ve had NO ONE to laugh at my jokes.”

It’s tough to be a comedian without an audience.

After the rain ended I went outside to pull all of the dead plants out of the garden while Matt got burgers ready for the grill.  Once I had most of the plants out, I started to turn the dirt over with a rake. 

And that's when I discovered that we were infested with snakes.

Matt was in the kitchen, so I screamed, “SNAAAAAAKES,” and I think he actually flew out to the garden. 

Much to my dismay, Matt enjoys a reptile.  In fact, he grew up with two pet lizards named Ozzie and Harriet and a snake that “somehow got loose” in his mother’s house and was never found.

I get shivers just thinking about that.

Well, my resident reptile expert told me that the snakes were actually earthworms.

In my defense, they were the biggest earthworms I have ever seen.

And after some (admittedly disgusting) research, I think the earthworms may be to blame for the sudden demise of my petunias and impatiens this year.

I think we should write a letter to Lowe's about it.  Maybe they'll send us a coupon.


Friday, August 22, 2014

i never did like small post earrings

So, my brother got married last weekend.

And then three days later, we all got together at my parents’ house to say goodbye to my sister because she left for college on Wednesday.

And in between those two Major Life Events, I turned twenty six and suddenly I feel like I have to cross all sorts of grown up things off my list because I’m basically staring thirty in the face and running out of time to do things like become a morning person and decide if I prefer white wine or red wine.

Basically, it’s been a big week around here.

Tonight is Emily’s first weekend night as a college student, which is really unbelievable because it was just yesterday that she was coming to Penn State with my parents to visit me and my brother, all the while vowing she would NEVER, EVER, EVER GO TO PENN STATE like the rest of us.

She was going to be different.

Break the mold in a family full of Penn State alumni.

But between you and me, I think she was destined to be a Nittany Lion from day one.

In honor of her new adventure and all of my nostalgia, I went through my box o’ important documents the other day to remind me of my youth.  And in addition to my diploma, graduation cap, and several English books, I found two documents that made me laugh.

Exhibit A:

When I was a senior, my parents brought a car up to Penn State near the end of the semester so that I could pack up and drive myself home as soon as I finished my finals.  Along with the car, my dad brought with him detailed directions about how to actually get myself home.  Back then I had absolutely no sense of direction, or a GPS.  And so I taped this piece of paper to my dashboard so I could look over at it during the journey.  

I was nervous about making the drive, and my dad even sent me an email the morning I left, encouraging me to “Just remember, once you make it to 83 south, you cannot go wrong.” 

Guess what.

I went wrong.  In fact, I went wrong all the way to Grantsville, Pennsylvania.

In the past four years I’ve developed a (slightly) better sense of direction, and I’ve acquired a GPS.  And, in a twist of what I’d venture to call irony, the home office for the company I work for is halfway to Penn State and I have to take these very same highways to get there.  Every 45 days.  

Oh Life, you are funny.

And now for Exhibit B.

My Penn State student ID.

Could I possibly look any less thrilled?

The answer to that is no, no I could not.

I’m happy to say that not only has my sense of direction improved since college, but also my ability to smile appropriately for identification photos.  Take my recent drivers license picture, for example.
I’m so happy to report that a fairly normal smile made an appearance.

It’s just a shame that I couldn’t find a pair of large earrings.

Dear Emily, smile in your ID photo.  And if you need a pair of earrings to wear, just let me know.  I can be there in three hours, I still have the directions.