Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Let Me Throttle That Genie

How does that saying go, "Be very careful what you wish for"? It seems that I have been invited away for the long weekend, to J's mother's home, (in a popular vacation destination town). Now, I've been wanting to be introduced to his family for the longest time, and within the past couple of months, I've met nearly every person who is important to him: I've finally met his sister-in-law, her mother, J's nephew (I'd already met J's brother pretty soon after we'd met), as well as J's ex-wife and her live-in boyfriend. And I took all this to be very pleasant progress in our relationship, and was happy to meet and spend time with each and every one of them. However, meeting his mother seemed to be a gigantic stumbling block.

She had come to town to visit a couple times in the past, and it would've been easy enough to bring me over to the brother's house for a short visit, but for some reason, J kept hemming and hawing about introducing us. Now, please, I KNOW that some people think that is the most gigantic step in the world, introducing someone to your parent, but he claimed that he wanted us to meet, but then one lame thing after the other would always get in the way. I even gently sounded him out about why he kept making excuses not to get us together. After more stammering and stalling, I finally just came out with it. "You don't think that I think, if I meet your Mom, that means we are getting married or something, do you?" I blurted. "Oh, no, nothing like that at all," he claimed, but he still resisted divulging what was going through his complicated cranium. I backed down, and didn't pursue it to the point of nagging, because I figured the best thing was to be patient, gently prod him on occasion, and when he was ready, he'd let me know.

Well, to my astonishment, he's finally ready. We are definitely going on Friday. And she's looking forward to meeting me.

Oh God, am I ready?

I'm actually going to meet her, at her home, and it's not like it'll be a dinner and then I can go exhale. Oh no, this will be four entire days living in his mom's house. Talking to her, hoping that I am passing muster, without knowing what the criteria are. The only possible known quantity by which I may be measured is against the ex-wife, and I fear I will come up lacking.

His ex was beautiful and talented and smart and... okay, a little nuts. They were married young and were together for a long time. They are friends now, all of the bitterness has dissipated, and from what I gather, the ex is still in contact with his mom. I'm getting the distinct feeling that he hasn't brought anyone over to meet his mother since they split, and it's just now occuring to me that it would be very natural to make comparisons. Well, his mom will have no problem noticing that I share the ex's propensity towards nuttiness, and although I concede that I lean a little too heavily on self-deprecation at times, the fact is that in many ways, the ex is really a tough act to follow. And I wish I'd thought about some of this before doggedly steering him towards this course, but now, as you have already summised, it's too late, and there's not much I can do about it.

Yes, yes, I know. "Get some fucking backbone and just go be yourself, Carrie. All will be fine." And even if she doesn't like me, if perhaps she is deeply offended by where I leave the wet washcloth after showering, or the way I eat peas, or the way I might laugh at jokes at her favorite political party's expense, whatever, all is not lost. J would probably find her dislike of some of my ideals and opinions endearing even, since he and his Mom are not on the same sides regarding many issues. Still and all, I find myself suddenly desperate for this woman's approval. Not having parents of my own anymore, I would really be grateful if his mother ended up liking me.

You know how in all those jokes about finding a genie and getting him to grant you three wishes, there always seems to be a kicker if you aren't incredibly specific when wording the wish? Like you might be granted money and fame, but it'll be as a dispised dictator, and you are in every assassin's gun sites? Well, I didn't remember, when I was simply wishing to meet his Mom, to put in a stipulation that we would end up liking each other. Didn't I learn anything at all from that movie, "Bedazzled"? (The old version with Dudley Moore and Peter Cook, looking very George Harrison-y, of course.) Like how the devil kept granting poor Dudley his wishes, but each one was marred by some missed loophole that the devil found in the wish? I thought I was paying attention.

Movies can be educational, as well as entertaining, if only we'd learn their important lessons. For example:

  • When you hear the moaning and chains coming from the scary looking house - DON'T GO IN. I don't care how curious you are, you are going to loose a limb in there, I promise.

  • If you are a 20-something year old guy, and you spend hour after hour talking with your best friend, a pleasant looking brunette girl, about how you want, need and must have that popular blonde girl, you should just give up your quest for the blonde. By the end of the movie, you will end up in love with the brunette best friend anyway, so why not just cut to the chase?

  • Contrary to the rule just above, if Meg Ryan is in the movie, the male lead should just fall in love with her already, since he's going to anyway, and he may as well get that over with, before she cries. She's good at being able to cry on command, by the way, so special note to police officers: I wouldn't trust her if she's bawling her eyes out trying to get out of that ticket. You just keep on writing, officer.

  • Most importantly to the point, here: When the genie or other supernatural being offers to grant your wishes, call a lawyer and draft a loophole-free document, leaving no aspect of the wish uncovered. Really think it through, too, because once you get what you asked for, there is often no looking back.

  • Monday, August 25, 2003

    Paige's Obsession

    My freshman year of college, I went home with a new friend to her hometown one weekend, and in turn met her childhood friends. I was particularly struck by the hobby of one of those friends, Paige. She was a real girly-girl, in a reserved sort of glasses and lacy bedspread nice girl way. She still had all her baby dolls and some of those china dolls with the perfect ringlets and velvet and lace dresses, and her room was all pastels and frills. She had a pristine white carpet, which I just couldn't even imagine having in any room of my house, knowing full well it would be moments before it was permanently stained with paint, food, or tracked-in dirt. Paige, though, was the kind of girl who could keep everything white and unsullied. And I mean EVERYTHING.

    One of Paige's preoccupations was her wedding day. Let me just point out immediately that at the time of our first meeting, there was no groom in view, not even on the distant horizon, but that crucial bit of information seemed to be lost on our heroine. She had subscriptions to every bridal magazine you could think of, and they were all over her bedroom: Bride, Modern Bride, Victorian Wedding, Big Fluffy White Dress, Your Most Important Day EVER, It Must All Be Exquisitely, Storybook Perfect, And If It Isn't, You Have Every Right To Go Postal Bridal Quarterly. I found it alarming that not one person I told this story to at the time seemed to find this alarming. Now, being a Monday-morning- quarterback-variety psychologist, I figured that she was channeling some completely untapped sexual energy into this obsession with THE BIG DAY (which she subconsciously must've known would lead into THE BIG NIGHT), but that's just my theory.

    Anyway, although Paige was an extreme case of wedding day obsession, meeting her was the first time I realized that I was in the minority among my friends, having not spent nearly as much time thinking about my dream wedding as any of those in my social circle. Even the most hard-boiled girls seemed to have pretty definite ideas about their dress, bridal bouquet and the colors of their bridesmaids' dresses, but I hadn't given it any serious thought.

    Well, it's not like I hadn't given it any thought at all. There was this game that we used to play as little girls, it might have been the Wedding Game, but I don't know the title for certain. It's one where someone made this origami-like box that fit over four fingers, and on each one of the little finger folds, you were to write down the four names of your favorite flowers, colors, boys and honeymoon destinations, and then some rhyme was recited while moving the fingers around in a pattern, until at the end of the rhyme, the position of the four fingers determined your groom, bouquet, bridesmaid dress color and honeymoon. Does anyone else remember playing this game? My cousin Barbara was particularly fond of this game, and she drove me mental with pleas to play. "Pick another flower! You need to pick four colors! Pick another! What do you mean, you can't think of four boys in your grade you like? I had to narrow my choices down!" And on, and on, ad nauseum. Keep in mind, I was in the third grade when she was demanding I figure out my matrimonial happiness choices right then and there, and I will admit to you now that since she didn't go to school with me and had no idea who the boys I might fancy could be, I often resorted to making up names just to placate her thirst for new rounds of the Wedding Game. Of course, I've always been pretty fussy as far as the objects of my affection anyway, and would be hard-pressed all these years later to name you four guys that I would even consider dating, but that's besides the point.

    The point is that lately, I find myself thinking about these things. Wedding things. Flowers, cakes, a party, dresses, how many people I would invite, or where would I like to have a ceremony. These thoughts have been creeping into my mind and conversations with friends lately, and I'm not really sure why. Well, that's rather disingenuous of me to say that. I mean, YOU probably know why. But the sad truth is that although J and I have been together for more than two years, I am only marginally closer to getting married than poor Paige was all those years ago, with her Bridal fantasy spread out all over her virginal bedroom. So why have these thoughts started to bubble up, more and more frequently?

    I have found myself looking at wedding cakes in magazines, and giving them entirely too much consideration. I was caught by a friend saying that I'd like such and such a kind of cake at my wedding, and she slyly asked me, "Are you getting married soon, then?" I must've turned all kinds of red, because I was mortified. Did I really just say that out LOUD? Why was I looking at those flowers in the florist and thinking, "I think I might like those in the bouquet when I get mar..." When I get what? Was I really just mooning about this or that little arrangement for a wedding that has never been discussed? What am I doing even considering such a thing, even abstractly, when the guy can't even bring himself to say those three little words to me? (Yes, I am back to beating that dead old horse, but I will beat ole' Seabiscuit here until I hear him say it, because my insecure soul screams out for verbal verification of his feelings for me.)

    I still don't want the whole frou-frou wedding thing, well, at least not in the traditional sense. But I'm starting to admit to myself that I would like to be married some day. And it's not really important what that day turns out to be. Maybe it'll be standing in a garden with a handful of friends and family, and we'd have a big bar-b-que afterwards, or it could be a costume party at a VFW. I really don't know. I think I would like to wear some kind of dress , and have some flowers, and have a cake. What each of these three things would look like, I have no idea. Yet I find myself tossing ideas around in my head, since I have obviously have plenty of time to plan. Maybe years.

    Even though I'm not set on the other parts of the game, I hope that the boy who comes up on my Wedding Game origami paper thingy is J. Because he's the one I want. I wouldn't even put other names on the paper, because I feel in my gut that he's my "one". But I'm trying really hard not to get my heart set on any of this. See, even though in the children's version of the Wedding Game there are no winners or losers, it's not true in the grown-up version. My heart is at stake, the one I've worked hard all these years to protect from these fantasies. And yet here I am, ruminating about flower arrangements and whether we'd have a band. How stupid.

    Damn you anyway, Paige.

    Monday, August 11, 2003

    Looking for Kink in All the Wrong Places

    Now, before I even start here, let me tell you, dear readers, you entrepid few, whoever you are, that I'm not even slightly interested in doing any of that sneaky internet-geek snooping to find out who reads this blog. I know that there are probably ways to figure out who reads blogs, but I have no interest in intruding in your anonymous reading habits, especially since I don't have any interest in anyone snooping about to find out who I am in the "real world". So, before I go on, I wanted us to be clear about that, 'kay? And I guess this is a good time to add that, conversely, if you would like to email me and break the fourth wall (the fifth? I don't know what applies for internet communication), feel free, there is always a link at the end of each post. I answer all email, firstly because I'm so surprised that anyone besides me finds this blog in the least bit entertaining, so I'm pleasantly surprised to get any mail at all, and I am interested in what you have to say. Secondly, the people who have written so far have been few, but very nice. And thirdly, it's just polite to respond to people who have taken the time to say hello. Unless they are in prison, or want to fart and then hold your head under the covers. (Yes, I know that came out of clear blue sky, but I'm going somewhere with this. Read on, scared as you might be at this point.)

    Having said all that, did you know that you can look up the search words or phrases people plug into a search engine, if it ends up linking to your blog? I was reading this other blog, and the (author?blogger?) was going on about the phrases people had put into a search vehicle and found her site, and how weird or scary she thought some of the topics were. My first impression was that given the wide range of wild shit she talks about, she really shouldn't be surprised. But it got me thinking, and I wondered if I could see what people were searching for when they found this blog. I mean, how did anyone get here in the first place?

    Oh my God, am I sorry I asked. Nah, actually, it was rather entertaining, in a sick sort of way.

    I know this will unfortunately only encourage more of the same, because I am about to write out the phrases they searched under, but I just can't dangle a carrot like that and not give you the whole story. It's just too weird. Now you may witness these lovely search query topics that showed up in my Site Meter report, join in the End of Search Query Topic Innocence I am experiencing, and you will understand my dismay. (Unless, of course, one of these phrases is what brought you here. In that case, go wash your hands. And light a candle or something. And counseling might be nice.)

    For example, "School girls farting + smothering"??? When the hell did I talk about that? How did searching on that phrase bring someone HERE? And WHY is someone looking for this information? If this is something you enjoy, go ahead, knock yourself out, but don't bring me into it, thankyouverymuch. What is that nasty phrase someone told me for that practice, was it Dutch oven? Okay, once, a long time ago, a boyfriend farted under the covers and then pulled the top of the covers up over my head and thought he was funny. In a very brief moment, he realized how very unfunny, unsexy, and kind of sick women think that is, and needless to say, it never happened again. Well, at least he had the good sense not to try that on me again. Who knows, perhaps he is out there right now, Dutch-ovening his poor, long-suffering wife for the third time in one week. But I digress. Back to the nasty search topics.

    Oh, how about "Japanese girl bloomer"? WHAT?? Is this about big puffy undies on Japanese girls, or some Japanese late-blooming girl? And WHY?? I thought men liked thongs. Bloomers? Is that slang for something else? Oh, I hang my head in shame, woefully out of touch with the internet porn world as I am. But I'll say this, I kind of liked seeing the search for "Sexy geek pictures". I guess that's no longer an oxymoron? There's hope for sexy geeks everywhere?

    "Caught giving blow job by kids". What, what, what?? Why did THAT link here? And why don't I remember that happening? Did I write some really bizarre stuff and it showed up on some alternate universe version of my blog? Apparently, the Alternate Carrie leads a much more sexy and deviant lifestyle than I do. Oh, but Alternate Carrie is also sort of like a blogging Hints from Heloise, according to the report I looked at. Otherwise, why would poor souls be led here by such queries as, "How to get rid of dead fish smell", or the half a dozen searchs for wallpaper and borders, including Irish blessing borders and Law enforcement borders. (Law enforcement borders? Why don't you stencil some handcuffs all around the top of the wall? There ya go. No, please, don't thank me.) I don't know what you can do about that fish smell, but good luck. Sounds like a whole lot of yucky in your future.

    But the search topics are not all fun and games. Some poor baby was searching for sites on the topic "Does mourning get any easier". Oh, you break my heart. Yes, it does, in my vast mourning experience, dear searcher. And apparently, I've become the prostate cancer blog poster girl, because some of those sites link here because I've been talking about J's current medical malady. Well, you are welcome to read along as he and I go through this cancer oddessy with you, if that brings you some comfort, but please oh please don't expect any medical advice from me. I'm reading Webmd and getting up to speed on the topic as fast as possible, just like you. And hang in there, I know it's a crappy deal.

    Anyway, that's a little sampling of the weird and not-so-weird things that people want to read about on the internet, and to you who got lured here under false pretenses - ever so sorry. You are free now. Run, run away, back to the safety net of Google and Yahoo search land, and better luck next time.

    This site is certified 38% EVIL by the Gematriculator