Monthly Archives: April 2008

Vacation Aftermath

So, apparently, going on a week-long vacation with your boyfriend of 9 months causes people to talk. Who knew?

It all started yesterday at DD’s nephew’s birthday party. I noticed DD’s aunt wasn’t her usual open and happy self. In fact, she seemed a little skeptical of me. I’m used to this from his sister, not so much his aunt. But I let is slide, and actually forgot about it until dinner rolled around 9 hours later.

We were at dinner, and somehow DD mentioned that when he’d gone to see his family on Thursday, his cousin mentioned that I fit into the family quite well. I, being the nosy girlfriend I am, asked what they were talking about to have that come up. After a little gentle coaxing, DD replied: “Well, I guess it was kind of a big deal that we went on vacation together. My family was asking me what it meant and if we’re getting engaged and my aunt was telling me that I should be honest with you and not lead you on and that a vacation is a big deal and if I’m not in this for the long run that I should tell you.” He went on to explain that his friends and colleagues had been posing the same questions.

Damn. Poor kid. Poor, relationship-challenged kid. All my family said was: “Did you see the Capitol?”

So, how does one handle this? Of course I want him to say that he’s in it for the long haul and that he loves me. But I know better, I know marriage is the furthest thing from his mind, and hell, we haven’t even exchanged the L-word, except for that one drunken time on New Year’s Eve when he let it slip and then took it back the next day when I asked him about it.

I took it all in and replied “[DD], you know that I only wanted to go on vacation with you to get some uninterrupted time together. To get away from work and other commitments and all those things that keep us apart each week. And don’t worry, it’s only been 9 months…I’m not looking for a ring tomorrow. It’s just too soon. So, no matter what your family (and coworkers…and friends…) say, we know our relationship best and we both know marriage isn’t on the table for discussion right now. And you’re not leading me on. You’re always honest with how you feel.”

And all I said was true, really.

Except that I have thought about marriage and apparently it hasn’t even crossed his mind. Except that I know that I’m probably more invested in this relationship than he is at this point. Except that this is his first real relationship, and what are the odds that someone actually marries their first real relationship? I expressed some of these concerns to him and told him relationships scare me because of all the uncertainty. But the alternative is never dating and living a rather lonely life. I told him that this relationship in particular scares me because it’s stable and good and unlike any other I’ve been in. And yet, it’s fragile and uncertain. In some ways, it’s my first real relationship, too. So how do two rather inexperienced people handle this situation?

One way is to do what DD did and say “Listen, what’s important is that we know where each other is coming from. We know why we went away for a week and I left our vacation caring more about you.”

Wow, 7 days with a whiney, bitchy Supergirl and he cares more about me? That was all I was hoping for out of the vacation. I don’t know what all those other people expected.

 

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Filed under DD (aka My Man), Hmm, relationships, travel

Updates on a Friday night

Thought I would update on the softball game that has had me nervous all week and ramble on about a few other random things.

The game went great, if by great I mean that I came away without any bruises or blood loss. We lost miserably (so bad that the mercy rule was actually put into effect…), but we all had a great time doing it. Turns out I don’t completely suck! In fact, I was able to hit the ball both times I came up to bat and only got tagged out on one of those times! And my fielding wasn’t so bad either, though I will say I’m quite happy playing left field, and not having to do much fielding at all. I came home full of energy, which is new for me on a Thursday night, so that was an added benefit. Of course it helped it was still light by the time I got home and the air was pleasantly warm. Have I mentioned I love spring?!

As far as other randomness of the week, let’s just say I’m glad it’s Friday. I had a couple meetings this week that had me a little nervous. One I think went well, or as well as I can expect. And the other one, well, let’s just say the other one was a bust. The person I was meeting with stood me up twice. So I’ve decided I’m done with that particular person.

Work was pretty crazy this week too. I had to deal with a little project being blown into a huge ordeal (isn’t that how it always happens?!) that ended with me and a couple colleagues in my boss’s office because the woman who we had done the little project for went and ratted us out. And really, she was just as at fault as us; but she’s a diva, so I had to spend the afternoon bowing before her presence and telling her how sorry I was that I made her, like, work.

Thanks to all of the above, I decided to make tonight a homebound night. I had a couple friends call with plans to hang out, but I didn’t feel like driving into the D. Even though I definitely would have had fun, and probably could have met up with DD and stayed downtown, I’m actually kind of looking forward to waking up tomorrow morning and heading to my local coffee shop to grab a drink and cozy up with a book for a couple hours before I have to head to DD’s nephew’s birthday party.

All in all, life is feeling pretty good. Only two things have me down: 1. That my favorite lasagna did not turn out for dinner tonight and 2. I have a nasty bump on the back of my knee that has me rather worried. It’s been there for awhile and I’ve been ignoring it because I think it’s just a harmless bump that I get from time to time, but now it actually hurts and my inner hypochondriac is beginning to work in overdrive. Hopefully when I go in to see my dermatologist next Friday she’ll say it’s just one of my routine bumps that happened to pop and that it’s no big deal. Fingers crossed.

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Filed under career, glass half full, rambling nature, S is for sports

You can help 12.5 million people

Remember that blog post I wrote about the Starbucks barista who donated her kidney? Well, someone very industrious has now decided to appeal to Starbucks to help individuals living with Polycystic Kidney Disease, which is actually the most common life-threatening genetic disease, affecting 12.5 million people worldwide.

So you can guess what this blog post is going to be about…telling you to support the cause as well!

What is this PKD you speak of?!
There is no treatment and no cure. There are options for treating the symptoms, which include high blood pressure, frequent urinary tract infections, and pain in the kidneys. I have two of the three, and my father, who also has PKD, has experienced the pain part. All I know from that experience is that he imagines it to be worse than giving birth — and my mom agrees.

Of course, the end result of PKD is end stage renal disease (ESRD) and there are only two treatments for that — transplantation or dialysis. Both scary, both expensive, and neither very fun.

I will be honest, in many cases, individuals don’t know they have PKD until they are in their adult lives and often the symptoms can be managed with good health care. But, we all know the state of health care in our nation, so that’s not always an option. And even with good care, ESRD is still a real possibility as well as passing the gene on to children.

In addition to that form, there is another, rarer form of PKD that affects infants at birth. According to the PKD Foundation, “…this form often causes significant mortality in the first month of life. If the child survives the newborn period, the chances of survival are good. For these children, approximately one-third will need dialysis or transplantation by the age of 10.” So, though they survive infancy, their fight is far from over.

I’m an even rarer exception. I have the more common form of PKD, but it was manifested at birth instead of in adulthood. I can’t tell you all the specifics, but all I know is I was sick at birth and my parents baptized me when I was about 2 days old because my chance of survival was so slim. That fear continued for my parents well into grade school, when I think they finally stopped listening to the doctors.

All of this doesn’t even take into account the genetic repercussions. With the form I have, I have a 50/50 chance of passing the disease on with every pregnancy I have. It really makes me think if I want to knowingly impose the disease on my offspring. 12.5 million people struggle with the same decisions.

So, PKD is not so fun.

Help is a button click away!
After hearing the Starbucks barista story, someone contacted Starbucks, which is currently asking consumers for input on programs it should implement in its stores. The idea is to have Starbucks agree to donate a penny per every cup of coffee or tea sold to PKD research. The Starbucks program includes a voting component, so once ideas are submitted, the public can vote. This idea is currently toward the top of the list, but could use your votes to take it all the way to the top!

Log on here to cast your vote. (Disclaimer: You do have to create a username to vote. I tried to be a pal and create one name that I would pass on to my readers so they could use it and not get spammed. But alas, it appears you can only vote once per item per username. But I have yet to receive spam and besides, don’t we all have an e-mail that we use mainly for stuff like this so we don’t have to sift through spam that comes as a result? If not, you should, you tech savvy people!)

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Filed under family values, transplant

What happens when you try to impress your man

Apparently, what happens is that you sign up to play softball.

Softball?! Since when do I play softball?

It must have been that one time I pinch hit on DD’s league and got one run in. The thrill of that run must be carrying me through to have now decided that I want to get even better and impress him even more by playing in a league of my own. There are many problems with this, though:

  1. I have a fear of the ball. I run from it, I don’t embrace it.
  2. I can’t catch. Hell, I just bought my first catcher’s mit, ever, yesterday.
  3. I’m generally not what one would call a “sporty” girl. I do yoga, I don’t run bases.

Oh, and I almost forgot…

4.  That one run I scored on DD’s league? There is some controversy as to whether or not I stepped on all the bases as I rounded them.

Hmmm. Perhaps this was not such a good idea.

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All good things must come to an end

And I guess that includes vacations. We arrived back in the D this afternoon and I was home by 8 p.m. Let’s see if I can wrap up the remainder of our trip in a few short notes.

  1. The monument walk I referenced earlier was wonderful. DD loved the seeing the city in all its beauty and I swear I was thisclose to getting him to move there. We were all lovey and happy and warm in the cool night air and it was good.
  2. Then Tuesday came. Our second early day. We’ll call this the low point of the vacation. Tired and crabby, I was not pleasant company and I think DD could sense it. In trying to be chipper and uplifting, he instead got on my nerves (yes, I admit it! The man GOT ON MY NERVES). Luckily, before I went all Crazy Supergirl on him, we were able to meet up with my cousin for dinner and pub trivia. This unlikely oasis provided us with people other than one another to interact with, which was just what I needed to stem the craziness. Then, my dad showed up randomly (he had last minute business in the city and had known where we’d be with my cousin). While some men would think this odd and slightly scary, DD rolled with it and the evening in general was pleasant and served to reconnect me with my man as well as provide a little taste of home and family.
  3. Wednesday night we had a small crisis which I won’t go into because it’s just entirely too personal. Needless to say, it ruined a certain intimate aspect of the rest of the trip, and will most likely affect said aspect for a couple weeks to come. Booo.
  4. We headed to Baltimore Thursday and met up with my old roommate, who I hadn’t seen in 5 years. It was great catching up and she even joined us for an Orioles game. We also had the most awesome hotel room in Baltimore, with a corner suite and view of Camden Yards. One day, we didn’t get out of bed until 2 p.m., except for running downstairs to partake in the free breakfast. Of course, that was a great day in my mind. I think DD probably wishes we would have done more, but he seemed content sleeping in next to me.

And now I’m home. DD and I were supposed to have one more night together while we attended a party his roommate was throwing, but upon waking up this morning, DD was coming down with quite the cold. In an effort not to get me sick, he drove me home and we’re both forgoing the party. Well, at least I think he is, I wouldn’t be surprised if he went anyway, fever and all.

I thought I would be ready to come home and have some time to myself, but instead, walking into my apartment and saying good bye to DD and our vacation was a bit of a downer. My place smells of unuse and badly needs to be aired out. I have a week’s worth of mail and bills awaiting action. I need to put away laundry I’d done before I left, and add a full week’s worth of laundry to the empty basket. And I’m alone. I got used to having DD around, and while there was a time or two where I’m sure we each wanted to kill the other person, we generally got along. It felt like longer than a week and it will be very weird to sleep alone tonight, wake up tomorrow and go about my day without him, and return to another grueling week on Monday. Again, all without him. Life will return to normal, seeing one another once or twice a week.

All good things must come to an end. But that doesn’t mean I can’t plan the next trip. I think this time it’ll be a long weekend in Traverse City.

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Relaxing v. Touring

Today, we woke up at 6:45 a.m. (I know, right?!) to get to the Supreme Court by 7:30 a.m. to stand in line for two hours in the hopes of seeing oral arguments. Needless to say, our early morning was a waste because we didn’t make it in. Who knew insane amounts of people were nerds like us? The most frustrating thing was that we were in the front of the line, but thanks to “special groups” we were only in the front of the line of the common folk. Which apparently is the back of the line overall. In 40 degree weather.

I wish we would have gone to the Bahamas.

About 10 a.m., when we realized we weren’t getting in for the first case, and had a long shot at the second case, we left and walked by my old house on Capitol Hill. Then proceeded to grab breakfast and head to the Newseum, a museum about news, obviously. Which was cool. It’s always cool when I go there, and it just moved to a new facility like 2 days ago, so that was great. Then, we hightailed it back to the hotel because DD had a conference call, and my dogs were barkin’.

Side note: It’s quite sad that after only 2 days of walking in relatively comfortable shoes, my feet hurt like hell and my calves are cramped. I have lost so much of my college-girl shape from my days walking MSU. I used to be able to walk across campus in flip flops. Now, one day in comfy shoes and I’m done. It’s depressing.

Of course, laying down while DD was on his call made me not want to get up, especially after getting lambasted by my boss for not filing her idea of the appropriate paperwork before leaving town. Hey, I can’t help it my back-up plan had to go to a funeral. But I can and should have, so thanks Boss for guilting me. She’s very exhausting. I conned DD into crawling into bed for just a minute, and an hour later, he’s sleeping next to me and I’m writing this. And still not really wanting to get out of bed. Which brings me to a pivotal question:

Is that OK? We’re in our nation’s capitol. Shouldn’t we be moving nonstop, seeing all the sights, especially since he’s never been here? We only have a finite amount of time and so much to see. Is it OK we’re wasting away this time in our hotel?

Again I say — we should have gone to the Bahamas. There, it’s expected that you do nothing for several days.

But oh well, we’re having a good time and spending some good quality time together, so I’ll try to suppress the cries of pain from my feet and press on. Tonight we are going to attempt to walk to the White House (only a few blocks from the hotel according to the map, but maps tend to lie), then hitch the Metro to Chinatown and then the National Mall, and do my favorite (but loooong) monument walk.

Tomorrow, we’re out of the hotel by 7:15 (that’s a.m., dear readers) to get to Capitol Hill by 8 to meet with Debbie Stabenow during her weekly constituent meeting. Then to see the Senate in session hopefully and the Air & Space Museum before meeting up with my cousin for some yummy chili and pub trivia.

Despite my whiny-ness, I’m happy I’m here. We had a fabulous dinner together our first night and in general have just gotten along well and navigated the city pleasantly. I just wish we could sleep in a bit, but I think we get to sleep in on Wednesday…

I need to go to the Bahamas.

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Super speedy update

DD and I are at the end of day 2 of uninterrupted time. We have yet to kill each other. We also randomly ran into someone he knows in a random subway station. Small world, eh? Tomorrow, it’s up at the crack of dawn to hear the Supreme Court.

I may not be updating much, it’s $10 a day (ridiculous, I know!!!). Had to log on to do some work stuff, so I figured I’d post a quick update. I really wish we could get to a point where Internet was free for all. But that’s a whole different blog posting.

Must get back to the vacay.

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Filed under DD (aka My Man), travel