Just Another Voice in the Crowd

Last week, on August 8th, I celebrated my three year anniversary with Lance. The day we got married will be one I never forget but not for any of the usual reasons brides say they’ll remember their wedding day.

It wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t just how I imagined it. It wasn’t your typical day at all.

Let me start by saying I never planned on getting married. I can name two people I know who are still on their first marriages and while my parent’s divorce wasn’t exactly ugly it wasn’t something I ever wanted to go through. When Lance finally talked me into marrying him, I wanted to elope. I wanted to run away to Tennessee and go through one of their drive-thru chapels wearing jeans and sneakers. Lance wanted the whole thing. Which would have been okay, but he wanted me to plan it as well. So I did.

Neither of us are the religious types. We’re actually pretty cynical about the whole thing and while we have a lot of spiritual beliefs between the two of us a church wedding wasn’t an option for us. We wanted to get married outdoors with just the closest people around us. It would have all been fine if not for the weather. The week leading up to the 8th the weather was clear as crystal and predicted to be just the same for our wedding day. The closer we got the more rain was predicted and when we woke up early that morning to see to last minute details it was pouring. While I did the typical bride thing of hair and make-up Lance saw to all of the details of moving our outdoor reception inside. I figure it was fair since if we had eloped it wouldn’t have been an issue and I was the one who had to do everything else leading up to the day.

On the way back to town with my hair all done up and with the flowers the rain got so bad my sister, who took me to her hairstylist, had to actually pull the car over because the rain was so bad we couldn’t see to drive.

By the time I made it to the church where we moved the reception everyone was already there setting up. My aunts, my soon-to-be-husband, my grandparents and a couple of our friends were doing their best to turn the cold gymnasium into something pretty. They did a great job considering they only had a couple of hours to do it and I didn’t have many decorations because really, when you’re in a green field surrounded by trees who needs a lot of decorations?

Because I’m a control freak, because nothing can happen in my family wihtout drama, because I hate to pass off work I was supposed to be doing, I was late to my own wedding. I showed up so late that people were starting to wonder if I got cold feet and ran. I didn’t. I am just always late. Lance didn’t look worried though.

From here, I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking for me. They tell a pretty funny story…

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Lance trying to calm my crazy nerves down before we walk in.

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Yes, I am so awkward I can get embarrassed in front of our closest friends and family. See the girl in red and the one next to her? Yeah, they’re not included in that list. Yes, I’m still annoyed three years later that they were there. Yes, I’m kind of a bee-yotch.Image

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The one in the tutu is getting married next year, she wants a white wedding with matching bridesmaids dresses. I’m not sure what happened to her. The one in the middle is @elliegoesraawr

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I give you two kilted me, a Native American and a Ninja cleverly disguised as a cowboy. And y’all thought my sister in a tutu was strange

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Our ceremony took from a couple of old, mostly-forgotten styles. First was the handfasting which binds us together. Those knots are still bound together in safe keeping to this day.

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Lance’s mother wrapped us in a blanket that shelters us. It’s an old Native custom that we carried on from Lance’s heritage. That blanket is surprisingly comfortable and keeps us warm through the winter. In another few years we’ll have to put it into safekeeping but I like to use it as a daily reminder of the times we were so crazy in love he made me forget myself. That way we never forget to make each other crazy now and again.

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That awesome moment when you’re in a corset and your brand-new husband has kilt issues.

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This is pretty much Lance & I. Skirt hiked up, sneakers on while laughing at each other and our families. And yes, I got married in purple converse. All of you who couldn’t feel your feet after a night in heels can be jealous you weren’t as awesome as me. :P

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I danced with a Pirate…

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My 6 month pregnant sister who weighed less than me…

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Lance danced with a few different men…

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We even danced with each other.

But the very, very best part?

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I had three good-looking men in kilts. How many brides can say that?

With a Smile

This last week at work was kind of a nightmare. My store is in the middle of a massive remodel and expansion and it’s leaving us all a little messed up. Nigh shift has to pull everything and prep for the construction guys, morning people have to put it all back together and in the mean time we still have to do all the things that makes a store run seamlessly. You know, stock the shelves and clean things up and deal with broken bottle machines. 

Needless to say things fall through the crack and when a large chunk fell through onto me I kind of lost my temper. I found myself running thirty minutes late for lunch with piles of boxes everywhere and low blood sugar. I went on a rant, which involved complaining about a coworker who failed to do her job leaving me with her mess, again.

The next day she decided in return for my complaining about her laziness to give me a list of stupid, pointless tasks to do thinking she would piss me off. Was I upset because she thought she was my boss when she doesn’t belong to my department, yes. Was I angry at the belligerent tone she used, yep. Was I upset over the fact she threw department standards out the window to show me up, yes. I like to do my job correctly and I hate people making me mess it up but really, the tasks she assigned me are ones I chose to do in my free (ha!) time. 

So, I left the office and went to work. Every time she walked by me I made a point of smiling. I laughed, I danced to the lame music played in stores everywhere. When asked about the tasks I’d grin and say “No problem, I’ll get them done.” 

I pissed that woman off so much with my certainty in my abilities, my cheer, and my “yes ma’am” style made her so angry she stopped talking to me. Really, two days and not a peep out of her. 

The lesson here is sometimes you have to eat shit. Sometimes you have to eat a big steaming pile of shit from idiots but if you eat shit with a smile they’ll never know what hit them. And if  you eat enough shit with a big enough grin the person piling it up for you might just walk away. 

The Fat Friend

I’ve been thinking about this post for the last few weeks but tonight I realized I am ready to write it. For most of my life I’ve been the fat friend. The girl you glance over before checking out her hot friend. I’ve never rendered a man speachless, don’t get cat calls or picked up at bars. When I go out with my sister the friend of the guy she ends up with at the end of the night would maybe talk to me but mostly he’d walk away and find better game.

Don’t get me wrong. I know I’m a pretty girl, I know I’m not some disgusting lump that needs to lose 100 pounds or anything drastic like that.

I spent most of high school dressing in boy’s clothes. I wore tee-shirts that were too big and boxy shaped. I wore pants that hung way too lose not realizing that the ones that fit were far more flattering. I spent a lot of time hiding from my femininity (but that’s another post for another day) and trying to hide the parts of me I didn’t enjoy.

I had bad skin, no clue what to do with my hair and went on a punk/goth kick that lasted more years than I’d like to admit to. My senior year I finally started losing weight and embracing my body. I even wore an actual bikini to the beach once. Okay, so I panicked halfway through and spent it wrapped in a towel but I did it.

Then I graduated and went to college. Then Lance lost his job and I was working and going to school seven days a week and I lived on fast food and quick meals that could be consumed on the go and didn’t require cooking. I gained almost eighty pounds before I started turning things around.

When I got married almost three years ago I weighed over 200 pounds. I felt disgusting, looked bad and didn’t like myself or the way I looked at all. Then, my last semester of college I got stupid.

I did not have an eating disorder. Nothing I did was with the intention of losing weight. Likewise nothing I did that semester was healthy or right and I regret doing the damage to my body. That last semester I was working too much, sleeping too much, drinking too much soda and pretty much gave up food. At one point I went almost three days without eating anything simply because I didn’t have the appetite, motivation or time for food. I lost nearly 40 pounds in just a couple of months.

Again, it wasn’t healthy, it wasn’t safe and I don’t ever suggest anyone stop eating and exist on Mt. Dew and toast alone.

I haven’t put the weight back on. I’m losing fat and gaining more muscle tone from healthier decisions. Since that semester I’ve stopped drinking soda and go for water or lemonade or juice. I make a point of eating more than once a day and try to make healthier choices there too. Sure, I eat too much pizza and fast food but I go for salads and chicken over burgers and try to balance it out over the course of the week. I try to walk rather than drive and my job keeps me active and fit whether I want to be or not.

Yes, I’m still 20 pounds overweight. Yes, I need to work toward more physical activity and less junk food. Yes, I need a better effort but overall I’m healthier and that’s what really matters.

More importantly, I’m happier with myself. Okay, so you’re probably going, what? Happy beats healthy when? But when you spend YEARS focusing on all of the bad things about yourself it can be stressful and make your life hell but to be able to look in the mirror and admit that you look good, being able to wear a bathing suit without cringing and thinking “Okay Beached Whale, Let’s do This” about yourself. It’s important.

I don’t know the last time I didn’t look in the mirror before going out and thinking something other than “It’s the best I can do” and the change is pretty impressive.

I’m no longer The Fat Friend.

My Dog has OCD

Gizmo has a licking problem. He’ll spend half the night licking my arm, my leg, my dress, the couch, his paws, pretty much anything he can get his tongue on.

He has me so well-trained that “Gizmo Stop” is actually code for “Gizmo switch positions so I can do (fill in task) while you lick me.”

There is just something so wrong about that…

Behind the Scenes

I’m nearing my 90-days at work which means I’m nearly off probation and finally getting the hang of how everything works and a lot of it surprises me. Because I like sharing my misery I’m going to share all the things you never wanted to know about grocery stores. 

 

1) The cool people work behind the scenes. They’re the ones stocking, sorting, hiding behind the customer service desk managing everyone working the front end. I think they find the crochety old ladies and lazy 20-somethings to work as cashiers. Of course there are notable exceptions but most rules have them. For the most part though, the best people are in the back and the very best are in Drug/GM (okay, that’s because I’m there :P)

2) Warehouses don’t take orders from stores. No, stores send requests and the warehouse decides what they want to send. The store’s been out of Depends 18 count XL adult diapers for three days and we’ve sent three requests but the warehouse doesn’t want to send the 18 count XL Depends. No, they want to send you three cases of the 16 count M because they have a lot of those and don’t want them and would rather see them in my back stock. 

3) Gerber has a twisted sense of humor. At first I thought it was just an isolated mistake when the stock was put in the case upside down. I mean, it happens. Then suddenly every case is loaded upside down. Yeah, fine. I can deal with that. Then the baby food that we display in the case is stocked upside down. Someone there really thinks it’s funny to mess with us. When I find out who I’m going to kick them in the shins. 

4) Baggers and utility workers know all of the hiding places and are never around when you need them and are constantly underfoot when you are trying to do something. You’d think it was because they’re just high school kids who really don’t want to be there but no, the older utility people hide too. It has to be the job.

5) If you say something stupid people will remember it forever. I got hit in the eye by a jelly bean earlier this week and told the guy to at least aim for my chest. Tonight they kept repeating it like it was the funniest thing ever said. Hey, I was one of the first girls to develop boobs. I’m used to guys trying to get things down my shirt. It doesn’t faze me anymore. Still, that was three days ago. It doesn’t rest. 

6) NO ONE CARES THAT YOU BROKE A LIGHTBULB! Really, it happens. Stop hiding that shit on the shelves for people to find later. Hand it off to someone and say sorry. It’s all that it takes.

7) Hey assholes, I can see you stuffing your trash on my shelves. Really, I’m not blind. There are trash cans for things like that. There really is no reason to stuff trash on the shelves and hey, why do  you have trash in the first place? You shouldn’t be eating stuff in the stores anyway. 

8) Always wash your fruits and veggies. Do you know how many people have touched those? Really. People who pack the crates, people who unpack the crates and put it on the shelves. People who then pick through everything to find the one they want. It’s actually really gross to think about it.

9) If you see the hack pack of smokers outside on break it probably isn’t smart to comment on how smoking kills. Their smoking is probably the only thing keeping them from killing you.

10) Don’t be stupid. If you’re an idiot everyone in the store will know before you finish checking out and they’ll be watching you for signs of idiocy. We talk, talk fast, talk often and tell everyone everything. 

 

Okay, I’m out of random facts about stores that no one really cares to know. I’m now off to bed so I can wake up and go back in the morning. 

Daybreak

Her favorite time of day was that time just before dawn when the sky was that perfect indigo you never saw at any other time. The last and brightest stars fought to hang on while the first brushes of dawn made their mark on the edge of the sky. She liked to sit on her roof and watch the stars blink out as the light reached and stretched. It was magic, beautiful and haunting. When the sky turned grey and the night was gone she’d climb back inside and slide into her bed knowing that she’d see that perfect sky, those brightest stars struggle for life again.  

Today was one of those days from hell. One of those days where nothing could go right and I nearly lost my mind more than once. 

I dropped boxes on my feet, I hit myself with carts and had to fight a Pepsi guy for a cart and stocked out of a shopping cart. I cleared pineapples and oranges and doughnuts out of the strangest places. I had kids throwing fits in the aisles I just straightened and messing them all up while his father ineffectually stood there saying “Stop. Come here.” In monotone while staring intently at the booze. We’re pretty sure he and his obnoxious children walked out with the booze and $5 shampoo and conditioner he was carrying. Honestly, I think it was worth the loss to have them gone.

When I walked out of work today the only good thing I could say about it was that at least my car didn’t catch on fire. No, I’m not kidding. A car caught on fire in the parking lot in the same area I always park my car. There were fire trucks and everything. It was only on a whim that I parked on the other side of the lot in a place I’d only parked twice before when there was no parking. Pretty bad when that is the highlight of your day. 

It wasn’t until afterwards, sitting outside at the smoker’s break table (why do I always end up hanging out with the smokers?) that I finally started to decompress. 

It was strange. I’ve never been a social person. I was the girl in college who listened her her iPod until the last minute when the lecture started and my headphones went back in the minute we were released. Most of my friends were gained through group assignments rather than me intentionally reaching out. Now, though, I find myself hanging out for a half hour talking to others, joking and laughing like a normal person. I didn’t even lash out when someone came up behind me and started playing with my hair. 

Allie from high school would have lashed out. Allie from college would have told him to fuck off. Allie now asked him to keep going because the head massage felt good after the long day. 

By the time I got home I remembered the scene I figured out how to amp up and make far more interesting/real today between attacks by shopping carts and fits by children without real parents. At some point I balanced, I remembered to be thankful that I have a job, that I work with good people who can make me laugh and massage my head after a long day without it being creepy or skeevy. I have people I can joke with who understand my pain and I can go home and talk to people who understand me on a different level with my writing, my crazy. People I love and love that I know. 

So I guess I’m pretty lucky after all.

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