Friday, September 18, 2009

That wrinkly shirt smells an awful lot like Pert Plus

Today I'm up in Clemson with Mike. I have Fridays off through September and he teaches on Friday mornings, so I've been riding up with him to 'keep him company on the drive', which we both accept as code for 'to get a kink in my neck from flopping over sideways in an attempt to sleep the whole time, while he listens to Bill Simmons podcasts. Because it isn't enough just to watch all the sports.

Later today we'll be going to Mike's parents' house and eventually to my cousin Hunter's football game, and tomorrow night we're seeing a play with Mike's parents. So last night before The Office, we packed up all our stuff so we wouldn't have to do anything but load up the car this morning. And that meant loading up all our bathroom things last night, which for me is always the most troubling aspect of packing. Along with wrinkles, but that's a discussion for another day. But packing up all those liquids is a real drag. And how are you supposed to pack a razor? I put it in carefully, and I don't just shove my hand in and blindly fish it out, but when I go to unpack my bathroom things from the skinny zipper pocket, my fingers almost always manage to meet the business end of those blades with horribly painful results.

Well. Last night, in a moment of clarity I feel sure was brought on by the cheese dip I ate at dinner, I developed a solution. It only works for razors with a detachable, replaceable blade, so if you use disposables you're on your own. But it's so simple! I just popped off the blade and put it in one of those tiny zip-loc bags that hold the extra buttons and thread when you buy a new sweater! Zip that heifer up and you've saved yourself hundreds of cents in Neosporin and band-aid expenses! How about ME, huh? I might wind up wearing a dress that's covered in shampoo, but I am done unpacking with a stinging, bandaged, unbendable, worthless index finger. And that's a win in my book.

Monday, September 14, 2009

He said Fatty Redface will you marry me?

Two years ago today, Mike and I got engaged. It was definitely one of my favorite days ever. This is a picture from that day. I hate it, and I sincerely hope I don't really ever look like that, because oh dear. But in case I really do look the way I seem to in most every picture ever taken of me, I'm working on coming to grips with the fact that I just don't look quite as nice as I sometimes imagine myself. Note there had been crying and my face is not always so full-and-red-looking (I hope). It was a great day despite how it might look on film. And that's one of Mike's mom's dogs in the background, begging to be let out so she can run away from the monster in the pink dress.

We went to my house later that night and my sister and my parents and my friend Laura and my cousins and aunt and uncle and granny were all there and we ate cake and drank champagne and it was so much better than I'm making it sound. Emily and Laura and my cousin Jessie and my mom all had on t-shirts that I'm realizing I'll need a new sentence to explain. In 2003, my friend Meredith and my sister planned Erin Day for me, for no real reason other than that they are magnificent friends and they love me. And they had Erin Day 2003 t-shirts made. So for engagment day, all the gals donned their Erin Day 2003 shirts and taped some masking tape on to add "and Mike" and change the 3 to a 7, resulting in Erin and Mike Day 2007 shirts, and it was so freaking sweet I cried again. I have the best friends and family of all. Mike is so lucky to have married into all this love.
Really though, I'm the lucky one, because he is a very awesome husband and I would for sure be lost without him. He hugs me like a madman, and he makes me laugh, and he kills all the spiders in our house, and he pays the bills for me and orders all my favorite movies on Netflix, and he packs my lunch, and he lets me have the last bite even when he really wants it. And if that's not love I just don't know what is.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Did you have a nice holiday? Mine was good, but Mike went and got sick on Friday, so he spent most of the weekend coughing and blowing his nose and not talking at all. And it was highly lonely being in the house with somebody I couldn't talk to or even come within a foot of. Except for at night, when he made all sorts of noise in his sleep because he couldn't breathe properly. Then it was like having lots of people or bears in the bed. Not lonely at all! He is now on the mend, thank heavens, so we've got high hopes for this coming weekend. We're aiming to have double the fun, just to spite all those germs. Incidentally if you know where I can rent a bouncy castle in the midlands for next to no dollars, please give me a call.

This weekend June shared the story of how she and Marvin met and fell in love. Though in no way will it rival the humor and poignance of her storytelling, I thought I would share Mike's and my met-and-fell-in-love story too. We're one of those couples where he remembers all the details of our early dating life, whereas I was generally too busy worrying about how not to seem stupid to bother with what restaurant we were at or what movie was playing or what day it was. So if I get anything wrong, babe, know that it is out of love and an intense desire not to lose you forever to Kathryn or Mary or Ashley or Elisabeth. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

We both went to a tiny college in South Carolina and took a bunch of business, economics, and English classes. But we only had one class together. And that class was creative writing. Everyone had to write 3 stories over the course of the semester, and we'd spend each class critiquing everyone's stories and reading various other stories and discussing writing in general. Most of the stories written by the students in the class were rather terrible, and mine were no exception. Just awful, truly. So embarrassing to think back to what I wrote. I do not do well under pressure, but I always waited until the day before they were due to start writing. So did Mike, actually, but with the opposite result. Everybody loved his stories and thought he was hilarious. One of his stories was a parody of CLASSIC LITERATURE, people. It was clever. I remember the first day of class, we all had to go around and say something about ourselves, and he said he was taking the GMAT the following week. A couple weeks later I asked him how it went, and he said that security at the test center was like Fort Knox. At the time I had no idea that Fort Knox is where they keep all the gold, so I laughed despite not fully understanding the joke. But that was really the only interaction we had, because the rest of the time the cute girls in class would talk to him and laugh at all his hilarious and clever stories, all Mike do you want to go to lunch with us at KFC and that shirt is so cool and can I maybe have your babies? So about that time I determined that I didn't stand a chance.

About 3 weeks into class, I facebook friend-ed him, and a few weeks later he sent me a facebook message to remind me that Conan O'Brien was finally coming back with live shows, because he had seen that Conan was listed in my favorite "tv shows." I sent him one back to say thanks and talk about Imogen Heap, who was in both of our "music" lists. Then we talked about Scrubs, and I mentioned that Emily and I had the first season on dvd. So he came by my dorm room one day to borrow the dvds, and he stayed and talked for an hour. Then he left to go eat dinner, and I went to eat dinner, and I think we both wondered why we weren't eating dinner together. A few days later he asked me to go with him to Dempsey's, a pizza buffet in town, and I said "Can my roommates come too?" in part because the food at our dining hall is THAT bad, and in part because I didn't think he was actually asking me on a date. I figured maybe I could be the friend he cracked jokes with in class, to impress the other girls. But my roommate was like, um, maybe it should just be you and him, so then it was. He came to pick me up in his tiny blue car, and he was wearing a blue t-shirt and camo shorts and he barely ate because he was sick (which I did not know until after the fact) and he talked about how one time he and his sister had to wash off their cat with a garden hose because it got covered in paint. And then he had to go to a lecture for our school's silly Cultural Enrichment Program, and because I had already racked up enough CEPs for the semester, I didn't go with him. Was I dumb or what? But he persisted and finally I came to my senses. So then we got married!

Does that about cover it? I feel like I'm forgetting something.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

It's a bird

I've been e-mailing with Erin about how excited we both are that fall and football season are finally upon us. Also about many other topics because the e-mails are pretty dang long. It's true what she says, we are blog bffs, or as I like to call us, bbffs, and I am going to mail her some sauce.

So she's down in Atlanta prepping for the first Hokie game of the season on Saturday, and tonight's the first game of the season for the Carolina Gamecocks. Which is a terribly strange mascot when I think about it, but I grew up with it so it never seemed strange. Neither Mike nor I went to Carolina, but it was the closest college to me growing up so I became attached, and our friends Johnny and Rich go there, and really the whole town will be watching the game, so we're going to too. Clemson (where Mike works) and Carolina are rivals, and I am a rare breed because I cheer for both schools. Though when they play each other, I have to pull for Clemson. Which is fine, because the only Gamecock cheer I've ever heard the cheerleaders do goes: Carolina!, Carolina!, Go!, Go! and that's just a little too complex for my taste. Anyway the game tonight is at North Carolina State, so we're going to watch it on tv. And eat pork tenderloin and potatoes and squash and zucchini and maybe carrots if I can manage to go to the store after work without falling asleep in the produce section. Otherwise just the squash and zucchini. Also if I feel up to it we may have some dessert, but again, it's asking a lot of me not to go home and just take a 9-hour nap. Luckily, though, today is my Friday, so at least I won't have to shoo our friends out the door an hour after kickoff (7:03 pm) because Gramgram needs some rest.

I've also got Monday off, and to celebrate, my mom and dad and I are going down to Charleston to labor the day away helping my sister move. Poor Mike has to teach on Monday, because for some silly reason Clemson doesn't give their students the day off. And THAT is why we're going to start pulling for Carolina. Right babe?

So whom do you pull for? What's your favorite football game food? Would your boss be receptive to the notion of afternoon naps?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

If only my bank account didn't have to prove that it happened.

One morning last year I was in a hurry leaving for work, and in backing out of the driveway I ran into the mailbox. So stupid. Mike fixed the mailbox, but my car still has a big ol' dent on the back passenger-side bumper area. Some paint is missing, and a piece of the plastic covering the headlight is chipped, and the dent is about the size of my hand- big enough to see from a ways off. Since then, every single time I get in my car, or see my car, or even talk or think about my car, I can't help but think "There's a dent. My car is messed up. Everyone can see that it's flawed. That guy driving past me knows I had an accident." I haven't gotten it fixed. I haven't even gone to have an estimate done. Back in May, a guy came up to me in a parking lot and gave me his business card, saying he could give me an estimate and fix the dent. The business card is sitting on the side of my bathtub. I keep putting it off because I know that it's going to be expensive, and it's hard to coordinate a time when we can leave the car to have it fixed. But it's a constant mindset now: My car is defective. And I'm embarrassed to drive it.

This has taught me two things. First, that afternoon when I got home, I made Mike switch sides with me in the garage so it would be much harder for me to get to the mailbox. It seems like it would be easy to avoid running into your mailbox, but I'm not the best with depth and distance perception, and when I'm in reverse and I get flustered, I tend to forget which way to turn the wheel. Not awesome. Our hope is that this way, I'll have to hit something else first, like the tree in our yard, and that will keep me from careening into the mailbox again. So far so good. But the second thing I learned is that God is capable of a kind of forgiveness I can hardly imagine, because even though I'm waaaay more dinged up than my car, there isn't a single second that passes that He thinks "That Erin is defective. I'm ashamed to call her mine." It's only through God that I can even attempt that kind of forgiveness, so big and complete that I literally forget whatever wrong was done. So my car is ganked up and ugly on one side, but even when I do get around to having it fixed, it will still serve as a reminder that I'm not really forgiving something unless I can move right past it and act like it never happened at all.