Thursday, March 26, 2015

Mawwiage is what bwings us togevah today.

I mentioned in my last post - just yesterday! - that I'm engaged to be married.

For a while, it seemed like it would never happen. I contemplated buying the China I wanted bit by bit, because I started to see myself as hip, single Aunt StrainedConsciousness for the rest of my life.

I'd been dating a fellow for a few months, and had informed him, on our third or fourth date, that I had some health problems, and that they weren't fun to deal with (I went whole hog and told him about the intestinal fungal infection, because that's attractive). His response was, "No problem."

At least, it wasn't a problem until it was a problem, until I didn't want to go to a concert because my infection was back, and I felt awful and exhausted and nauseous. And then, he just... stopped calling. Because five months of dating didn't warrant more than that, apparently.

When I realized that he had no interest in continuing to date me, I was pissed. Pissed that he didn't have the cojones to tell me himself, and pissed that I'd wasted my time on him, particularly since I'd straight up told him, in detail, how the infections affected me, when they happened.

I got on eHarmony that night, and responded to several messages that had been dropped into my InBox in the past two weeks.

One of those messages was from the man I will marry on May 30, 2015.

He was cute, judging by the picture, and wrote exceptionally well, and seemed to have a well-developed sense of humor. We met for coffee a few weeks later - we began corresponding over the Christmas holidays of 2013 - and I liked him immediately.

Except he needed a haircut. But hey, that's easily fixed, right?

He had a good sense of humor, a wide range of interests, and he was exactly like his picture on the eHarmony website. Except more handsome, so hooray!

Our second date was at the Museum of Natural History in Houston. I'd been wanting to see their Egyptian Hall, so we went. We also went through the butterfly exhibit, which was fun, but the best part was definitely the Egyptian Hall.

Why? Because of all of the amazingly hilarious jokes that can be made at the expense of mummies.

Yes, I know, I'm going to hell for mocking dead people. Or, at least their canopic jars.

As we wandered through the gift shop on the way out, a Triceratops mug caught my eye. Not just any triceratops mug, though: an over-sized triceraCHOPS mug, showing the different cuts of meat on a triceratops. My Future Husband bought it for me, and I still use it every day at the office.

By our fifth date - when he made me dinner at 9:30 at night because I was exhausted, on my anti-candida diet, and had just left work - I was hooked. I had to drive to my parents' house, the next day, and when I got there, I cancelled my eHarmony account. I'd found the one.

By our fifth date. Because I didn't feel like breaking my dad's record (He told my mom on their third date that he was going to marry her. She laughed at him.)

Jump ahead fifteen months, and I'm two months away from our wedding.

It's going to be pink. If you'd told me two years ago that I'd be having a pink wedding, I would have laughed in your face.

However, My Future Husband and I attend the Unitarian Universalist Church in Houston, and its interior is painted in two different tones of pink, with soft green accents and beautiful mid-tone wood paneling. It's a very Frank Lloyd Wright-ian building (as are many Unitarian Churches), and I'm thrilled to be having our ceremony there.

My niece was initially excited about it, because that means that her flower girl dress will be pink. Except she just told my sister/Matron of Honor that she wanted a gold dress.


Anyways, we're having a morning ceremony - 11:00 a.m. - with a luncheon to follow at Ouisie's Table, a Houston institution, and also site of the one and only instance in which I've had a waiter pour a drink on me (it was a Bloody Mary, for the record, on my birthday. I think I was 22).

And then, the next day, My Future Husband and I will leave for almost a week in Santa Fe, New Mexico, one of my absolute favorite places to visit.

We've been living together since shortly after our engagement - I was very ill, unable to work, and could no longer afford the rent on my apartment - and My Future Husband has been doing an excellent job of dealing with Wedding Decisions.

For instance, he chose the wedding invitations. I stood in the living room, with six different invitation samples in hand, hemming and hawing about which ones I liked, and he took them, sorted through them, and held up the one we are about to mail out to our guests. "I like this one," he said.

It's pearlescent pink with black lettering. I would never in a million years have thought he'd pick it, but he did! And I like it.

When we went to pre-shop for our registry, I couldn't decide on the Formal Flatware I wanted, and he opened a drawer of flatware, said, "I like this one," and voila! It looked better with our China than any of the others I'd seen.

And then we bought chocolate at the fancy candy counter in the store where we registered (if you're ever in Houston, check out Bering's Hardware: you can buy chocolate, Herend porcelain, William Yeoward crystal, and lawn mowers).

It's nice to have someone who can defuse some of my OCDesign. And he hasn't built a bonfire out of my design magazines, either.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sisters. Sisters. There were never such adoring sisters.

I received a message via Facebook, today, informing me that I had been granted a "Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award." The awarder...


The awardor...


The award giver? Granter? Grantor? Grantor, according to Merriam-Webster.

Okay, here we go again. The award grantor is my third cousin, the daughter of my Cousin Thom. After Thom's death, she took over his blog, To Gyre and Gambol, and has definitely lived up to his legacy.

Since I blogged about Thom, I haven't written another entry, although I've meant to do so. I've mentally composed several posts, but then didn't get around to writing them.

I've been busy. I met the man of my dreams, and on May 30, 2015, I will marry him in a smallish ceremony here in Houston. We now share a home, and he has been through a round of everyone's favorite game: "Megan's Bedridden Again!"

So we have the whole "in sickness and in health" thing covered.

Lots going on. And that's part of why I haven't blogged: I felt there was too much to catch up on.

But now, I've been given an award, and so I will blog, tonight, for the first time in six months.

So here are the questions Amy sent me to answer:

  • Why did you start blogging?
My sister suggested it. I was unemployed in 2008, and had nothing to do. I would write these loooooooong emails full of details about what it's like to be unemployed to her, and she told me how funny they were. I was reading constantly, and wanted a way to "discuss" my books with people, and so when my sister (also named Amy, by the way - total fluke in the family naming thing) suggested I start a blog, I decided to do so. I initially had a schedule: Monday was a review of the bar I went to on Friday for Architects' Happy Hour, Tuesday was some amusing anecdote related to being unemployed, Wednesday was also some amusing anecdote related to being unemployed, Thursday was often a book review, and Friday was either another random story or a picture of alcohol, because I was too busy going to Happy Hour at 5:30. Don't knock it. It's how I got my next job. "You can hold your booze and won't put up with alcoholics' shenanigans? You're hired!"

  • Do you have a favorite scar? Tell us its story
I actually have three favorite scars. Is that cheating? Maybe? I never claimed not to be a cheater, you know.

Three favorite scars: one beneath my right breast - 1.5" long and 1/8" wide; quasi-symmetrical ones fanning out from my waist down to my hips. The fan-shaped scars used to be bright red, then purple, but now they're a shiny flesh-tone, almost invisible unless you see them in the right light. Or wrong light, depending on your feelings about scars.

All three come from chemotherapy treatment as a 17 year old. I got all of them within a three month period of time. On December 4, 1999, I had surgery to implant a port-a-cath, which is usually implanted above the breast in teenage patients, so it doesn't interfere with brassieres. When I was diagnosed, however, I weighed a skeletal 105 lbs, so there wasn't enough fat over my rib cage to implant the port-a-cath above my breast. So the placed it below my right breast, but out of the way of the band of my bra.

The other two scars are also related to my being 105 lbs of nothing when I was diagnosed with leukemia. My doctors put me on steroids, you see, as part of my treatment, and I proceeded to eat all the food ever. I would go through a gallon of whole milk and 1.5 lbs of ham in two days. And that doesn't include the 3 a.m. scrambled eggs I would make for myself, or the Oreos, or the microwaved frozen broccoli.

I gained a lot of weight in a short period of time, and after three months of chemotherapy and steroids - and the puffiness that comes with being on steroids - I noticed that I was getting funny marks on my hips. Stretch marks. From gaining weight.

I used to be ashamed of the scars on my hips. It's helped that they've faded, with time, but I also see them as a symbol of what I went through, and who it helped me to become.

  • Are you sunrise, daylight, twilight, or night?
I am the walrus. Koo koo ka choo.

I used to think I was night. I'm still a bit of a night owl, but something I've learned in the past six months is that I crave sunlight. I've actually cured migraines by sitting in the sunlight and resting, so I think I'm now daylight.

  • What's the best meal you've ever had?
The best meal I've ever had... I've had lots of great meals, memorable meals, but I think the best one was on November 1st of 2014. That was the day The Love of My Life asked me to marry him, and we went to Ruth's Chris for dinner, that night. (I thought he was going to propose at dinner, but then he stole a march on me and proposed before we went to lunch.) When we arrived, one of his friends had called the restaurant, told them what had happened, and paid for us to have a bottle of champagne. At first, I thought Robert - the fiance - had ordered the champagne. But then he asked if I'd done it. Nope. There was a card on the table, and that straightened things out pretty quickly. I had filet mignon, mushrooms, and asparagus with hollandaise with creme brulee for dessert.

It wasn't the best food I've ever had, but the company couldn't be beat.

  • If you wrote a book, what would it be about? Write the inside front jacket.
I've actually written a book, but it's nowhere near being publishable. There's a ton of work to be done on it. If I had a year without a job, I'd work on it, and probably get it polished up in a couple of months. It's a fairy tale about a benevolent witch - it's a matriarchal society, and men are kind of (really) looked down on - who has to go on a journey to find a cure for the coven's matriarch, who will die without this cure. So she leaves, and eventually finds the cure, and on the way decides that neither humans nor males are so bad (in fact, some of them are smokin', but in a totally PG way), and she is also disappointed in some things. The character, as I initially wrote her, is too perfect, though, too cold, and too remote. She isn't someone you really want to read about. I've grown better about having relatable characters, in the intervening years (I wrote it 5 years ago), so I think I could turn it into something publishable, if I had the time.

But as for writing the inside front jacket? I don't know if my late-night mental muscles are up to that taxing task...

  • Tattoos: yea or nay?
I certainly don't have any! Long ago, I wanted to be tan, but then I had cancer, and I decided I didn't want to get cancer again, so now I'm perfectly happy being fair-skinned. It isn't pale, it's porcelain, and I'm rocking it. And I work pretty hard to keep it nice, especially after the time I ended up with a striped sunburn after floating the Comal River in San Marcos, TX. No ink shall mar this creamy canvas.

  • What do you wish you were better at?
Wow. There are so many possibilities here. One: getting off my duff and exercising. Two: socializing. I sort of have social anxiety, especially after bouts of illness, and then the idea of going out with a group of people can send me into a panic. Fortunately, my lifemate is good at talking me down (even when he thinks it's just me "not having anything to wear", which is a very convenient excuse for me). Three: riding a bike, snapping, and whistling. That's I lie, I wish I could actually do those things, not just be better at them. That's right: I refused to learn to ride a bike. I need three wheels under my caboose, or it's game over.

  • Which young-adult bestseller-turned move do you dislike the most?
I can't really speak to this one, since I haven't seen any of them. I've heard the Hunger Games movies are actually really good, but I'm so madly in love with the books that I'm afraid I'd be disappointed if I saw them.

  • Public school or private? Interpret whichever way you like.
I went to public school. I found out, within the past two years, that a lot of students in my district perceived my school as "ghetto". I couldn't figure out why, initially, and then I realized that we were one of the few schools on my side of town that had a racially diverse population. We had Hispanics and African Americans at my middle school! Gasp! It was good for me to be in a diverse population. I didn't realize until my parents pointed it out that two of my friends were Hispanic. ("Huh? Oh. I guess they are. Whaddaya know.")

  • What fashion decision do you most regret?
Dream-catcher earrings in the sixth grade. Hands down.

I'm supposed to pass this on, now, and award it to someone else. The difficulty there is that I'm out of practice with reading blogs. I never really read other peoples' blogs, much. This blog was just a way for me to vent, and to be creative and maybe have 100 people read an entry on Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam series (which she finally finished. Helllo! That took a while!).

So I'm going to be a bad sister, in this Sisterhood of Bloggers, and break the chain.

Hopefully I don't have 7 years of bad luck.