It’s been over three months since my last post, which just goes to show how uninspired I feel when Dancing with the Stars is on hiatus. (Confused? Scroll below to read my love letter to the show that serves as a glowing testament to the television renaissance.) And there’s also the fact that this summer was a whirlwind of activity, leaving little time for me to enjoy my two favorite pastimes as of late (watching Friends and reading Mormon mommy blogs), let alone write in this blog, which I’m bad at to begin with. Here are the top 10 things that consumed my summer in the order in which I remembered them, not the order in which I enjoyed them. That’s something I’ll leave to your guesswork and nuanced eye.
10. I went to bachelorette parties. This one is actually higher on the list, but I’m putting it first as a way to hook you line and sinker, because everyone likes a good bachelorette party story, am I right!? As a bridesmaid in two weddings this year (one in July and one in November), I had the distinct honor and privilege of being invited to two weekend getaways to celebrate female friendship and independence, singlehood and sisterhood––and also to play “penis ring toss,” which is about as fun as regular ring toss, which is to say not at all. I couldn’t help but ponder the double standard in all of this, because if men were to play, say, a rousing game of Quarters or something with a plastic vagina, I think they would probably be scowled at and socially ostracized, and maybe apprehended by the police. It all seems so unfair. I think Donald Trump should bring this up at the next debate and then drop the mic and moonwalk off stage.
I actually don’t have a story, but I would like to go out on a limb with a controversial statement. This is perhaps overly militant, but I don’t believe in FaceTiming or calling significant others while on a girls getaway unless it’s to ask something practical like “Can you make sure I turned the iron off?” A “miss you” text is fine if absolutely necessary, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned about men thus far in life it’s that he hasn’t even realized you’re gone yet.
9. I kayaked across a lake and then crashed into a tree. This, perhaps not unsurprisingly, occurred at one of the two aforementioned bachelorette parties. (But it’s hard to steer a kayak and hold two beers in your lap at the same time.) As I neared closer to shore at full speed, unable to figure out how to turn the right way and avoid what was about to happen (it was all happening so fast and yet in slow-motion at the same time), I silently accepted my fate––I was going to collide head-on with the tree.
I am not unfamiliar with this sort of thing––choosing inaction and just kind of surrendering to it all. One instance that immediately comes to mind occurred in high school gym class in either junior or senior year. We were playing softball, and I was in the out-out-outfield, trying to position myself in such a way that no ball would come near me and I could remain immobile and clap every now and then. This plan fell to shit when some overachieving nutcase smacked the ball in my general direction, and as the ball soared over everyone else’s head and headed right for me, I did not panic but instead felt a calm resignation: Fuck that.
So, in the kayak, I braced myself while hugging the beers between my knees more tightly in a last-ditch effort to save them, and then, in an inexplicable move, raised my paddle above my head. I think I was hoping to use it as a sort of brake by pushing it against one of the thickest, protruding branches above me, but no dice. Instead the paddle was swept up into the mass of branches and in that moment I felt the tree lol.
A few moments later, I ungracefully turned sideways and belly-flopped into six inches of lake water, retrieved my beers from the floor of the kayak, and then went to pee.
Across the lake, the bride-to-be, using her hand as a visor from the sun, squinted into the distance and, puzzled, turned to her sister. “Did Colleen just crash into that tree?”
8. I went to a club called The Grotto and told every guy who asked that my name was Sara, No H. This wasn’t my idea. It was a mandated bachelorette party “game,” but once I started it was the most committed I’ve been to something in a long time.
7. I worked from Las Vegas. …And so was given a glimpse into what life could be, if only I lived in the Pacific time zone and worked 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day to be on the same schedule as my East Coast coworkers, leaving plenty of time to go to the Encore pool and enjoy two $16 pina coladas before dinner reservations at 8.
Kidding. I harbor no delusions that living in Las Vegas will consist of daily trips to the Wynn. But they could, because carpe diem.
6. After several failed attempts to lose weight, I invested in a modest collection of drawstring shorts and skirts. As someone who hates having my picture taken on a good day even one time, the prospect of being in potentially hundreds of photographs on my brother’s wedding day made me queasy. (But not queasy enough, if you know what I’m saying.) This unease was compounded by the fact that my body, over the past year or so, has started evolving into something that I can only imagine is nature’s way of telling me I’m overdue for a baby and should just throw in the towel and wear leggings every day. Adding to this is that it’s been several years since I lost a bunch of weight, and in the interim I’ve become all too comfortable with certain less-than-healthy habits that my skinny self (nightmare though she was) never engaged in, like eating ice cream multiple times a week and ordering appetizers. Plus, I work at a desk job in an office that offers free access to unlimited snacks, which means I spend busy seasons stress-eating peanuts.
Back in January, I decided I would make a concerted effort to eat less. This decision was made on a Monday. By Friday, it had all fallen to shit, so I resolved to start again on the following Monday. And on and on we went for the next six months, until I realized that maybe it just wasn’t going to happen; my size 6 days, short-lived though they were, were over and not to appear again––at least not in time to have my picture taken in teal chiffon.
So I did what was only logical in this sort of situation. I stopped wearing pants and started practicing holding a bouquet with my arms at the perfect angle to give the illusion of tone and definition. I can’t say I was victorious in this regard, but I couldn’t be happier about the fact that I haven’t worn jeans since May.
5. I watched my younger brother get married. In general I find weddings to be very surreal. There’s such a fuss about them that when the actual day arrives and you’re living it in real time, the 500+ days spent preparing for it melt into this very out-of-body experience. I spent the day feeling like the princess version of myself because makeup, when applied correctly and by a professional, cleans a bitch up. My hair was a labyrinth of twists and braids converging into a large bun extending the width of my head and held together with no fewer than 300 bobby pins. All it would take is one snap of a single bobby pin for the whole elaborate creation to come crashing down. Talk about an adrenaline rush.
My favorite part of the day besides the actual ceremony (which is arguably the most boring but also, like, the supposed reason we’re all there––aside from the open bar) was the wedding party’s entrance into the reception. It felt like a moment I had been preparing my whole life for, even though in actuality it had only been a week (which is probably 6 days, 23 hours, and 55 minutes too long). My cousin and I did a tango-like dance in front of almost 200 people––obviously my idea because I wanted to pretend I was on Dancing with the Stars. Pure magic.
And now my younger brother is married and I have a sister-in-law who texts me when she knows I’m pooping. A match made in heaven, really.
Last weekend my brother’s old bed from his childhood bedroom, where he lived up until two months ago, was put out at the curb and my mom cried.
4. I helped my boyfriend move out of his apartment. And by “helped” I mean I sat and worked on my laptop while giving directives––so I was more like a project manager. But then I had a bottle of champagne delivered (if you needed another reason to think New Yorkers are nightmares, here it is), which I think makes up for any perceived lack of hands-on assistance.
3. I got really into Mormon mommy blogs. All Mormon mommies don’t necessarily do life better than everyone else, but a lot of Mormon mommies (at least the ones with blogs) are really, really good at putting on a show to make you think they do life better than everyone else. They just seem so into their lives in all of their tiny minutiae. They act so excited about finding tablecloths on clearance at Target, by DIY flower arrangements, by drinking hot chocolate (also found on Target clearance) on a rainy day with their three-year-old. They’re also really good at product placement. (“I just love picnics!” is the caption to a picture of a checkered blanket, wicker basket, assorted containers of grapes and cheeses––guaranteed, my future three-year-old will not know what brie is––and, oh, a pair of Valentino sunglasses.)
Even so, I can’t help myself. I am positively fascinated. These women are my age or younger and have three kids; they’ve been married for almost a decade. You know what I was doing a decade ago? I was drinking Colt 45 on weekends and mapping out my days based on when my crushes (nicknamed “Gym Guy” and “Creepy”) would be at the gym (Gym Guy), or in the dorm gazebo smoking weed (Creepy), or in the cafeteria (both, but for wildly different reasons––munchies vs. muscle-building via protein-rich meals). And now the livelihood of these women is blogging about literally nothing while being cool moms and having date nights with hubs. So it’s no wonder they seem so blissfully happy.
I tell you, all of these East Coast female elite, the liberal urbanites with their fancy careers––we’ve been fooled! They’ve (we’ve?) been taught to strive toward something other than motherhood and Target and DIY projects, but what the hell for? That’s the dream right there. I want to live my life in a euphoric state that is euphoric because I do not have to leave my house unless I want to and I can blog about a sweater and then get another free sweater from the people who made the first sweater I blogged about. I want to have three kids with interesting names and pull them off because they’re all dressed up in the latest kid fashions like tiny insufferable hipsters. I want to have a big, pristine house on the West Coast, even if I have to blog about Pampers to get there. I suppose I wouldn’t exactly want to be Mormon because there’s a few things I probably wouldn’t be able to get past, like the underwear and the celestial polygamy, but maybe if I could just pretend to wear the underwear?
Anyway, I’ve gotten really into Mormon mommy blogs.
2. I saw zero movies and read maybe 2 books. But I watched almost every episode of American Ninja Warrior.
1. Chandler Bing. I’m just confused as to why everyone acted like Breaking Bad was the best thing to ever grace TV screens, when Friends had made its appearance long before?
And finally, here’s a picture: