A girlfriend from my book club asked to join Abraham's and my kickball team. I informed her of the immediate interest from boys in the league. She's fresh meat.
"One guy asked me on a scale of one to ten how crazy she was," laughed Abraham.
"What did you say?"
"What's my ranking?"
"Before or after the engagement?"
I snorted. He had a point.
I feel like Life handed me a big Fuck You since I got engaged. Oh, you're happy? Well let me shit all over it.
Moving was hard, despite hiring movers and taking the entire month of April to pack. I knew it would be stressful, but I didn't think it would make me this miserable. I'm still realizing things are lost or broken. I'm tangled in disputes with the moving company and am considering taking it to small claims court. The company recently offered to replace items that were damaged, but when I went to pick them up, I realized they gave me a fake address. That's just not right. Abraham wants me to drop the dispute for my health and sanity.
We've traveled out of town for four of the last six weekends. I realize what an asshole I sound like complaining about that. "I told my fiancé we simply have to not travel so much." I'd hate me too. But I'm tired. I'm exhausted. I moved and three days later we flew to Florida for a wedding. Then four days after returning, his parents came in town to meet my parents. And that was one of the weekends we were in town. Five days later and we're driving out of town for another wedding. Three days after that, we're at the beach. We have this weekend home, and then we're flying to Dallas. I've barely unpacked. I haven't been home long enough. The first day we were at the beach, I slept. I wasted an entire day. I couldn't even hold conversations with people. I just slept.
All this traveling means other areas of my life have fallen apart. We haven't been home long enough to buy fresh food, so we've been eating out. I haven't had a regular schedule to run, so I'm sure I've fallen out of shape and lost my endurance.
Work has been hell. Normally work is not something that stresses me out, but I've worked overtime every day for the last three weeks in a row. I've just been overloaded.
Not to mention the car accident. I rear-ended an Audi A4 on the way to work one morning. I just gave him my insurance card—let him keep it—because I simply couldn't handle another stressor. Thankfully, he took my card and called my insurance company and got his bumper fixed. I'm sure my premium will go up in the fall.
People tell me I look awful.
I feel like Abraham proposed and I haven't smiled since. I've done a 180 on him. The crazy to which he referred was the night I packed to fly to Florida and cried because I just wanted to sit down. I wanted the chance to be bored. I wanted to eat three regular meals a day.
Jenna texted me out of concern after seeing me last week. I know you're busy, she wrote. Try scheduling downtime on your calendar like you do other activities.
So last night when all I wanted to do was sleep, I forced myself to cook dinner instead of going out. Spaghetti, but it counts. Then I unpacked a single box. After that I knit for an hour and showered and went to bed. The difference is noticeable. I feel like I actually got something done and did something for myself. I think I'll just focus on the small steps, even if it means a blog post is a whiny, self-indulgent one.
Tonight I'll try and unpack my luggage before we have to pack it back up again.
~Wednesday, May 29, 2013
A girlfriend from my book club asked to join Abraham's and my kickball team. I informed her of the immediate interest from boys in the league. She's fresh meat.
Love, Sarah at 12:43 PM|
~Monday, May 13, 2013
~Friday, May 10, 2013
When I got dumped by Valdosta, the lovely and wonderful Tex in the City put together a care package for me with love from Texas. I still think about this gesture at least once a week. This is a woman I have never met, although we do share a mutual friend in real life, and she did one of the kindest things anyone has ever done for me in my life.
The care package consisted of:
- A blank diary, "to write all of your blog posts that are too personal to publish."
- A pair of fabric handcuffs. "Wear them when you need to feel powerful," she told me. "Just one will do."
- A book of great love letters "to keep the hope alive."
- Scented pheromone perfumes. "I swear to God these work."
- A copy of daily affirmations from my favorite self-help book, Co-Dependent No More. I have since passed this on to my mother who needed it after her divorce, who then passed it on to her co-worker's adult son, also going through a divorce.
- A copy of Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man
But he gave one piece of advice that I have found to be irrefutably correct: men are driven by three things: who they are, what they do, and how much they make. "These three things make up the basic DNA of manhood—the three accomplishments every man must achieve before he feels like he's truly fulfilled his destiny as a man. And until he's achieved his goal in those three areas, the man you're dating, committed to, or married to will be too busy to focus on you."
I don't know if "busy" is the word I'd use. "Busy" is an optimistic word, like he's pounding the pavement actively trying to achieve these goals. I've dated my share who weren't. "Distracted" seems more accurate.
If men don't know who they are, which is very tied up in what they do and how much they make, they do not have room in their minds or hearts for you. A quick history:
- S: Drug addict. I was not drugs. And every penny he made (and stole from me) went to drugs. At no point did he plan for any future with me.
- Christopher: Unemployed for 2-1/2 years before we reconnected and then for another year while we were together. He was incapable of loving someone else when he didn't like who he was: a waste of space and a black hole of resources.
- There were countless other one-date wonders who generally seemed lost in life. The Musician comes to mind. So does Jack.
- I was lost in life for several years, but I wasn't cognitive enough to sort myself out first. I think these men were the same. I don't think it's a conscious decision.
For this reason alone, I'd recommend Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. Leave a comment if you would like my copy. It will be sent with love from Texas. And now from Georgia.
Love, Sarah at 11:53 AM|
~Thursday, May 09, 2013
Love, Sarah at 2:28 PM|
~Monday, May 06, 2013
Life after the engagement:
- Drinks. Lots of drinks. Most of them free. I drank more in the following week than I had all year.
- A birthday! Thirty-two was not exciting. I had so many friends come out to dinner that the restaurant said our party was too big and refused to accept our reservation. This was both touching and stressful as I spent the afternoon calling businesses (and failing). We ended up at a fondue place downtown that may or may not be going out of business, according to the rumors.
- Moving into Abraham's. After he slipped the ring on my finger, he told me he'd never let me move in with him without being engaged. So he knew this was happening since we set a move-in date last October. I thanked him for not letting me be a hussy even though I obviously had no qualms about being one.
- The move itself was terrible. Awful. To even write about it would bring back terrors. It was the worst move of my life, including those half dozen college moves where everything I owned was shoved into the back of a pickup truck and I prayed that nothing would fly out into the highway, like someone else's ironing board I just drove over. The sight of U-Haul trucks gives me rage flashes even though that company wasn't even involved in the move. But, as people try to console, the move is over and I get to live with my fiancè. Even though that means ordering parts off the Internet to get my dryer working again because I watched people drop it down a flight of concrete stairs while I screamed helplessly. And now I'm angry all over again.
- Did you see me work in the word "fiancè"? It took us over a week to start using it, similarly to what happened after the initial I love you. It's there but it's still a bit scary, so we'll just not call it by name.
Beetlejuice. Beetlejuice. Beetlejuice.
~Wednesday, May 01, 2013
- Going to our favorite restaurant that we visit every week and having the bartender deliver my plate of tater tots spelled out to read WILL YOU MARRY ME. I like that restaurant and my tots and all, but I'm glad the bartender talked him out of it.
- While ice skating. Initially sounded cute, but one of this friends reminded him that the only people who go ice skating these days are pre-teens. Kind of awkward for a marriage proposal. Besides, Abraham has never been before and would probably spend more time on his butt than on one knee.
- Having our favorite singer do it during a show. This almost happened. We drove up to Nashville to see him for the weekend, and Abraham had the ring in his pocket the whole time. The venue had trouble getting in touch with the singer to see if he would do it. It would have been awesome, but 30 minutes before the show I spilled barbecue sauce down my silk shirt and it left a one-foot stain. I'm glad all on my engagement pictures don't have me with the world's largest stain down my shirt.
I'm glad it happened the way it did. He proposed in the most meaningful way possible, and it was so simple. So simple that had zero inclination that it was a possibility.
~Wednesday, April 24, 2013
As I was leaving work the following night, I complained to my coworkers about my pending kickball game. The pollen count was so high that the ground was slick with yellow dust and billows of pollen blustered through the air. Just standing outside irritated my nose and lungs, much less playing a game of kickball in a grass field. To quote my friend, people were buying meth to make allergy medicine.
Since we had a night game, Abraham offered to get drinks beforehand. Abraham and his roommate began gathering their things as I stood at the door.
"Don't you want your phone?" His roommate called to me.
"No. We're just getting drinks and going to kickball. I don't need it."
"Are you sure?" Abraham asked.
"It's just kickball!"
At the bar I ordered a double gin and tonic. Abraham ordered a pint of porter. A few friends met up with us, presumably because we had a late game. I downed my gin and tonic and looked hungrily at Abraham's beer. I don't even like porter, but I was jealous at the way he was lazily sipping his, without a care in the world.
At one point in the conversation, I made a grab for Abraham's phone. Abraham recoiled.
"Oh hush. I'm just looking at his profile," I said. We have an open-phone policy and frequently look things up on each other's phones when ours is out of reach.
"I thought you didn't need your phone," he quipped.
"I don't. I have yours." I typed away.
When our hour was up, we headed to the kickball field. The gin and tonic (and stolen sip of porter) had diminished my pollen anxiety. I looked at the line-up. I was the first female kicker and the second kicker overall. This was notable because usually the good people kick first... and I'm used to kicking somewhere around last.
"Why am I so high on the kicking order?" I asked Abraham.
"Because you've improved so much this season," he replied.
To be clear, I get zero special treatment on Abraham's team. I kick last. I get shoved to the back of the outfield when our team is losing. But! But, my kicking had been getting better. I'd been consistently advancing runners or sacrificing for the run. I wasn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth. The one game I played this season, I played well. I was going to kick second!
We were playing my old team, and I was in a good mood. We always have fun when we play each other. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero's "Home" began playing; it was my turn.
The Leader pitched the ball to me. Ball. I didn't like the second throw. Strike. The third throw I bunted and made it safely to first base. On the base I danced a jig.
"It's my first time this season on first!" I called out.
I looked at the first baseman. Standing awkwardly next to me was Clemson. He had lost even more weight.
The Leader pitched to the next kicker. More balls. The kicker got walked! I excitedly trotted to second base.
"It's my first time on second!" I called.
"Sarah, go to third!" my team shouted at me from the sideline.
There is a rule that a pitcher cannot purposely walk a male kicker to get to a female kicker to try to get her out instead, so any time a man is walked and a woman is next in the line-up, she automatically gets walked as well.
I pranced to third. This was a fun game!
"It's my first time on third!" I squealed. It never got old.
The third base coach told me that there were no outs so I didn't have to run unless it was a good kick. The next girl kicked toward third. I stayed.
"Now the guy is going to kick deep. Make sure you tag up if the ball is caught," I was instructed.
The ball was indeed kicked deep into the outfield. It dropped to the ground. I ran for home.
As I ran for home, Abe ran in front of the plate and blocked me, just as I did when we first met. Then he dropped down on one knee and held up a poster that read WILL YOU MARRY ME?
But April Fool's Day was last week? I thought, confused.
Then I saw the ring, The big, beautiful, shiny ring. That's how I knew this moment was real.
I screamed. I was running so fast that I had to windmill to stop. And then I burst into tears.
So I am the kind of girl who cries when she's proposed to, I thought.
It was not a pretty cry with a single, solitaire tear running down my cheek, not smudging any of my makeup. Truth is, I wasn't wearing any makeup. I didn't even put my hair up nicely. I was supposed to just be playing kickball!
I stood there with my hand over my mouth, doubling over at the waist and crying a cry that sounded more like a grieving honk. Abe stood up and awkwardly hugged me because it was obvious that I need some amount of consoling.
"Is that a yes?" he finally said.
"YES!" I cried. My nerves were shot. "I'm so glad I had that gin and tonic!"
Both teams cheered. I looked around. Several video cameras were going. Someone honked an air horn. The song had been changed to Bruno Mars' "Marry You." A member of my team handed me a bottle of champagne...
Wait? They knew?
Abraham had planned everything. He approached The Leader and told him the plan months ago before the season even started. Together they picked a night and a time for us to play each other. Abraham said he wanted to do it in front of my old team because we were all friends. Lawyered stood in the outfield and clapped.
Abraham coordinated the plays. It turned out I wasn't as good at kickball as I thought. They let me on first. The Leader was instructed to walk the guy after me to push me to third base safely. The other guy was told to kick deep so I could trot home.
But I'm not that great at kickball, so I never trot when I have a chance to score.
The time Abraham refused to go running with me was because he was coloring the poster board. The nights he played racquetball, he had been ring shopping beforehand.
Abraham's roommate reached in her pocket and handed me my phone. "I thought you might want this," she smiled.
"My phone!" I cried.
"When you grabbed my phone at the bar, I panicked," Abraham told me. "When you left your phone at home, I posted to Facebook that there was a big surprise tonight. I was worried you were going to see it."
AND THEN THE GAME STARTED OVER AGAIN. The fake plays didn't count. My run didn't count. I even made sure my foot was on home plate when I said yes. For naught!
I was so distracted during the game that my special treatment had ended. I was once again placed in the back of the outfield. I was literally staring at my ring when the ball was kicked toward me. Someone else had to get it.
I didn't know the final score until two days later. We lost. But as the ref explained to me when he restarted the game and my run didn't count, I had already won.