* * * * *
I am not married and I do not have children. I started down that MUST GET MARRIED path too early and, having realized this (um, a little late), stepped off it. Temporarily.
And I say "temporarily" because I think I could handle being "settled down" now, since everything in my life has shifted in the last few years, including and especially my perspective on what the term "settling down" even means.
But. For now.
I am enjoying the hell out of my current life station. There is something to be said for the urban 20- and 30- and 40-somethings I hang out with who don't have kids but who do have disposable income (however moderate and/or uh, miniscule, you know, it may be).
And so it is with great joy and (my typically ungood) photos I tell you a little* story...
*Wherein "little" means you might wanna get a fresh cup of coffee and make yourself comfortable.
* * * * *Prologue
Once upon a time, a girl met a Boy. The girl thought the boy was cute. TheBoy? Well, perhaps he thought the girl was cute or perhaps he didn't. We do not know because perhaps TheBoy was impossible to read and that is why it would take a YEAR of their knowing each other before they'd start dating.
And then they did start dating and they were really not a good couple.
Why? Why weren't they a good couple, you ask? (Shush. Pretend you asked. La la la.) They were not a good couple because the girl was not always as clear about the settling down thing and also maybe a LITTLE BIT crazy and thought that "hey, you're cute and funny" should soon thereafter beg the question "wanna live together?" because maybe that's how her only two real grown-up relationships had gone. Maybe. This isn't the point at all.
The point is, she thought he was REALLY GREAT and he thought she was fine but not like, the girl of his dreams or marriage material or anything crazy like that, and -- as happens -- that came to be something of a sticking point in the relationship.
"Can you actually say with certainty that we'll never get married?" she maybe actually asked him. MORE THAN ONCE. (Because not only had she never read "He's Just Not That Into You," she had also never read "WHAT NEVER TO ASK A MAN YOU ARE DATING EVER EVER EVER 101.")
And he would, every time, calmly and matter-of-factly say, "Yes."
As you might well imagine, the relationship devolved sort of rapidly after that.
Well, you know. A girl really has two options once she has basically asked the question, "Where is this relationship going," and TheBoy has basically answered, "nowhere it isn't already": She can shrug her shoulders and have another martini and pretend she's never going to ask the question again (until she does, again, and then again), or she can get out of the relationship.
In this particular girl's case, her getting out of the relationship was greatly facilitated by TheBoy's DUMPING HER CRAZY ASS.
[Are you so happy to be reading this prologue? Awesome!]
This prologue has a happy ending, though.
One thing that this crazy girl offered to do for TheBoy when they were together was plan a big birthday bash for him, because she thought TheBoy had never properly celebrated his birthday in the years she'd known him and really, wouldn't that be fun? Maybe they could like, gather their friends together and rent a house somewhere and have a grand old time!?
He said no.
Years later (phew!), the girl has maybe gained a little bit MORE perspective. And she and TheBoy are friends. And they can both laugh at the crazy. (He still a little more than her, though. Ahem.)
And so when TheBoy thought about turning 35 this year, he decided to take her up on her offer. "I'm thinking about doing that house idea," he said to her. "Wanna plan it?"
And so she did.
* * * * *
Once upon a later time, a dozen 20- and 30- and 40-something urban dwellers organized a long weekend away to celebrate the birth of The King of Inappropriate Humor, aka "TheBoy" i.e., my ex-boyfriend we will forevermore just refer to as T.
With my help and only about 9,392 emails among the group, we found a perfect house: on the ocean, only a couple hours from the city yet with the feel of being faaaaaar away. And T graciously rented and offered it to us for the mere price of our good company, food, and drink.
And oh, was there food and drink.
In fact, had there not been so much of both, I probably would have remembered to take more photos. But here's a rundown of
T's Birthday Weekend!
Ish, T and I packed up Ish's car and headed north. We got lost before we even left the city. I am not kidding.
Then halfway through the trip, especially as we had gotten a late start, we decided to stop for dinner.
I noted that next to the restaurant was a giant craft store, so I thought -- hey, it's a long weekend away! This would be a great time to knit something! I should buy some needles and yarn!
Except once I found my way to the yarn, I...I sort of lost my grip. Maybe I was tired or hungry or overcome with excitement at the prospect of a weekend away, but the yarn! There was SO MUCH OF IT! I got totally overwhelmed and had no idea what to do. It was as though the yarn aisleS (because there were like, 3) were mocking me, all Jack Nicholson style.
You want the yarn? You want the YARN? YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE YARN!
I almost cried. I had no pattern or needles or clue. So I gave up. And as I was on my way out of the store, I noted a sign that -- in my madness of yarn defeat -- made me double over laughing.
That was it. A giant craft store with an entire aisle devoted to...birds? I had to check it out. And so did the guys.
Which is how it came to be that T bought two little fake birds for the purpose of driving everyone crazy all weekend.
[He would place the birds in strange places throughout the house. If you found one, you had to put it someplace new. That was the game. It became something of a strange obsession with all of us, and the birds landed in some pretty interesting spots...]
* * * * *
After dinner and considerably more driving across windy roads with no streetlights, we eventually arrived at The House at the same time as another couple, who I will randomly call Handy and Tinker.
Let me set the scene, if I may.
Five of us arrive at the house, which is up atop a huge cliff we cannot see over, but over which we know there is nothing but ocean. It is very cold. And windy. And weird. And late. And PITCH BLACK.
It is the setting of a horror movie. Well, except for one small detail I'll get to in a moment.
The five of us approach the house using whatever we can find to light our way, and soon learn that "Key will be left behind the planter on the front deck" may SEEM like a straightforward note, but in actuality, it is not. It took the lot of us at LEAST ten full minutes to figure out what the "front deck" meant, with added time for figuring out which planter, and what direction "behind" was.
And it was scary, like I was worried that a guy in a hockey mask with a hook-for-hand or, I dunno, a Confederate-flag bearing pick-up truck would be coming along any minute to do Very Bad Things to us.
Well, sort of I was worried about it. Except for the mooing.
Moooo baaaaahing, actually.
Unbeknownst to us, the house was surrounded by...erm...I guess the only appropriate term would be livestock(?) I do not know. And also it was SO DARK.
But please imagine five very city-like folks running around a house in the dark searching for a mysterious planter, with only the light of our cell phones and the VERY LOUD mooing and baaaaah-ing of livestock(?) to guide us. Which was also actually scary (though hilariously scary), because we couldn't actually SEE the livestock(?), we could just hear them getting louder and louder. As if to alert us that they were disturbed by our presence! And if we didn't find the "behind the planter" soon, we would be trampled!(?) By sheep!(?) Coming from... somewhere!
We finally found the key, and I will tell you. Five people have never unloaded so much so quickly.
Within 15 minutes (and before we'd even figured out the thermostat), Tinker had made a round of gin and tonics.
"Hmm. I think I made these too ginny" Tinker proclaimed.
And the rest -- of the evening and of the weekend -- was history...
* * * * *
Ish and T (with b&w red-eye, no less, because I am a camera genius) are impersonating the scene from Ghost. I could not tell you why. Gin.
Handy is being silly here.
The (Birthday) Boy steals my camera:
(if you know him well enough, you know this happy face is the product of gin)
* * * * *
Part Two: "No, no, you go on ahead" coming soon.