Shopping, sweatpants, and chick flicks

I love the companionship that marriage brings. I love spending time with my husband, cooking with and for him, listening to the news from Lake Wobegon on Sundays, goofing off together and brushing our teeth together. We have such a comfortable set up–after 5 years of marriage, he has taken over all the gross tasks in the house: he cleans my hair out of the trap in the shower drain. He takes out the trash. He deals with expired leftovers from the fridge. He scrubs the kitchen floor. I plan the meals and take charge of the cooking. I clean the bathroom, and do the vacuuming. I even kill the occasional bug! And if you knew what kind of critters frequent our walls, you might be wowed (I’ll give you a hint: a million legs, creepity-crawlity, many waving antennae, sometimes have purple blood). I’m open to change, but I love the routines and habits we’ve established. I wouldn’t trade life with him for anything.

And in case you’re getting the idea that we just go from routine to routine, that’s not it at all–oh, I’m full of surprises. For example, in the middle of the teeth-brushing experience, I love to quickly tooth-brush his arm. It always makes him jump, which gives me much glee. I also love sticking my finger in his mouth when he yawns, so that when he closes his mouth there’s a surprise! He knows to be on the lookout for this, though, and has managed to block my attempts many times. Yes, these are the elements that keep our marriage vibrant. Give it a try–scrub your tooth brush on your spouse’s face or arm. It will quickly infuse your relationship with fresh energy. Follow it up by a firm spank on the butt. That always helps the fun factor for all involved.

Anyway, getting to the point of the post, every now and then my husband is out of town, and I get to enjoy a night to myself. Or two, as is the case this time! I don’t have a lot of alone time in the house, so to me this feels like a special treat. I can walk around in something comfy and hideous that makes me look like a sad old carpet. I can leave my hair stuff all over the sink. I won’t make the bed if I don’t feel like it. I can read myself to sleep and turn off the lights whenever I deem the time is right.

You know, it’s a good thing he rarely goes out of town, because living alone I would clearly spiral out of control and live in my ugly blue college sweat pants until they fell off my body in rotten, moth-eaten shreds. Yes, I may complain sometimes when my husband requests that I wear cute sleepwear instead of the derelict pieces I favor. But underneath it all . . . I’m grateful to have someone to dress for. Someone whose face lights up when I throw on a cute tank top instead of a flannel shirt with rips in the armpits.

And for the record, I threw away that flannel shirt a year ago.

Anyway, my husband is at his parents’ house for a couple days because his brother is home from college on his fall break. Unfortunately this is happening during the work week, so I can’t go. This is particulary disappointing because I haven’t been able to see his brother since he moved into the dorms in August for his sophomore year of college, and I’m especially curious about his stint as . . . (wait for it) . . .

. . . (wait for it some more) . . .

Homecoming Queen! Yes. He goes to an all-boys college, and apparently for Homecoming the different dorms and fraternities each nominate a candidate to take on the role of Queen. So my tall and strapping brother in law won the votes of his fellow students and paraded around. In a dress.

Not only was he parading around in drag, but for the day leading up to the event he had people call him “Johnena,” which (being a more feminine version of his name) helped him get into character. Will the wonders never cease??

I can only hope that someone took pictures, and that somehow I can get my little mitts on them. Besides wanting to see if he wore lipstick (and if so, what brand and shade–I think a nice coral tone with hints of gold would suit his complexion well) I think this is the perfect blackmail material that I can use in maybe 20 years when he’s an important, upstanding citizen. “You know I have those pictures of you in what some may consider ‘drag’. . . ,” I’ll  hiss with an evil glint, “so unless you want them SPLAYED ALL OVER MY BLOG, I need you to bake me a batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies RIGHT NOW! Hop to it! Let’s go! Prestamente! Get them on the next FedEx truck!” I’ll cry maniacally. I anticipate gaining many delicious treats through this exortion over the years. When blackmail = baked goods, you know you have done everything you can to ensure a happy and fulfilling life for yourself.

For the record, this looks nothing like my brother-in-law–but I couldn’t resist the temptation to illustrate a little, and my man-drawing skills are limited and depend completely on giving my sketch facial hair so that you can recognize it’s a man in the first place. This is what happens when I have nothing to do at work, my boss is really cool, and I have a permanent marker and a scanner within arm’s reach. Thank you for indulging me.

But instead of focusing on my losses, namely that I won’t be able to a) tease my brother-in-law mercilessly and hear about all his capers and escapades, b) drink a bottle of soft red Oliver wine with my wonderful mother-in-law, or c) get my dose of family which is waaay overdue, I’ve decided to focus on my gains.

I have the run of the house!!!!!!! Once I get home from work, I have zero responsibilities. I can go hog wild! However, for any concerned readers, this will not involve Chinese take-out from a certain food establishment (the whole fiasco is chronicled in this post). Been there, done that, and suffered for it, my friends.

For tonight, the plan is:

1) Go to Plato’s Closet. This second hand store in Lincoln Park is one of my favorite places to shop. OK, so I’ve only been there once since moving to Chicago over a year ago–but I was also a faithful customer of this franchise in Bloomington, Indiana and Newark, Delaware. I don’t know what I’ll do if I ever move to a town without a Plato’s. Once you get used to paying $8 for a pair of Express or Gap jeans, it’s just really hard to go back.

This little excursion will take a while, with a train ride and a bus ride and who knows what else. That’s probably a good thing. The incovenience of getting there via public transit will allow me to limit my shopping trips to twice a year instead of twice a day. In Bloomington, I worked right next to a Plato’s. I suffered, I agonized, I tore at my scalp–and I shopped.

2) Get home and put on some rice. Fry some eggs, heat up some tomato sauce and dump blue cheese over the whole wild combo. Yes, I know I’ve talked about this dish fifty million times in about every other post. But what do you expect? I’m addicted! I can’t help myself! Blame it on the blue cheese! Or even better, eat it yourself and then you will understand. If there are any blue cheese haters out there, please identify yourselves immediately and understand that I just don’t know if I can be your friend anymore.

Oh, except Ellen. She doesn’t like blue cheese, but I totally can’t give her up as a friend. Oh, and Vessie. I don’t think she likes blue cheese very much either, but since she was one of my bridesmaids and we just had a smashing weekend together in Texas at our friend Sarah’s house, I can’t exactly cut her out of the equation of my life. Not yet.

But as for the rest of you! Be warned.

3) Fire up Netflix Instant Play on the computer. Drag the comfy chair over to the computer (foot stool optional). Envelope myself in an afghan, snuggle down, and watch a ridiculous chick flick that I would be embarassed to admit to watching as I chow down on my hot bowl of rice.

4) Stop the movie halfway; make popcorn. Make tea. Finish the movie while consuming the popcorn and the tea (Tension Tamer–it may be placebo affect, but it makes stress just melt into a puddle of sleepiness).

5) Snuggle into bed with my current book, which is fuzzy territory since I just finished ‘The Pillars of the Earth’ and couldn’t get into my next read, ‘Queen of the South’. If desperate, I will resort to a faithful, well-worn Christy Miller paperback. Read until my eyelids get nice and heavy . . .

6) Lights out. Have complicated, fantastic dreams in which a knight rescues me from some kind of dragonish creature. Thrills, long gowns with beautiful sleeves, and sword fights must be key elements here. Optional elements include a tiara, a beautiful decolletage (I’ve always wanted one), and some kind of romantic forest tryst by a waterfall (think Disney’s Robin Hood).

What plans do you all have for tonight? Anything fantastically fun in the works? Hopefully the parties responsible will make sure there is a birthday cake for my sister Erica (paging Dave, paging Dave)–happy birthday spanky-pants! You’re my favorite blonderrific sistercrantz! Hoobedy-habiddy birthday schmurfday! Harriotticus Potlotticus!

(I’m sorry I had to make you all party to the nonsense that has become the language of choice among us sisters–it will probably happen on this blog every day won’t happen again but who knows I’m full of surprises.)

9 thoughts on “Shopping, sweatpants, and chick flicks

  1. Jenny @ Words On Wendhurst

    I plead the fifth on blue cheese, in favor of hopefully remaining your friend. And I hear ya about the sweatpants – once when Luke was out of town for two solid weeks I sank into a depression so bad that we don’t talk about it. :-) Luke’s sisters were literally concerned about me. :-) Let’s just say I don’t do so well when Luke is out of town. :-)

    Reply
    1. Jenna

      I meant to reply to this ages ago . . . and then I forgot. Anyway, I will remain your friend despite your blue cheese shortcomings. =) Just wanted to make that clear.

      Reply
  2. Twinky

    OH YES!! the influence on your language!! I just love the -otticus factor!! And haen’t I witnessed some “-lette”-ing in your writings??? And you are definitely a relative of the Menn family with a love for the romantic, fantastic, and long flowing sleeves! =)
    I LOVE IT!! Your writing is fabulous–did I tell you how much Big Jake and Mama Kitty liked it when I read the “And the one shall become two” post to them?? KUTGW!! (Keep Up The Good Work [or Writing])

    Reply
  3. giselle

    I seriously love blue cheese. a lot.

    Have you read the Philippa Gregory books? If not, I suggest you pick up a Constant Princess and enjoy your evening. Seeing that you lived in Spain, I think you’ll enjoy it. I loved it.

    Reply
  4. Mary Beth

    I love love love Plato’s Closet! You are so right about not being able to go back to “real” stores once you have experienced $8 Gap jeans :)

    Reply
    1. Jenna

      I went with “Maid to Order,” a kind of reverse Cinderella story with this girl who was in “The Breakfast Club” and “St Elmo’s Fire” . . . I really enjoyed it! Very 80s. =)

      Reply

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